Original auditorium revealed as Growth Deal funded transformation of Bradford’s former Odeon cinema continues

The new city centre live music and entertainment venue has received £325,000 from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal and £4 million from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

Work is progressing to bring a former iconic Bradford cinema back to the big time as a live music and entertainment venue. 

The original 1930s auditorium has been revealed after more than five decades after steel and concrete partitions erected some time in 1960s were stripped out.  

The project, which is led by Bradford Live and the NEC Group, has received a £325,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region. 

The LEP secured a further £4 million for the transformation through the Government’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund. 

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council said: “It’s fantastic to see how Growth Deal funding is helping to transform this much-loved art deco landmark into an exciting venue that will attract thousands of people into the city centre and create new jobs when it opens in 2021. 

“The regenerated venue will be a valuable addition to the vibrant cultural offer of the Leeds City Region and support the ongoing economic transformation of Bradford.” 

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “It’s really exciting to see this project progressing so well. It will be an amazing venue when restored and a great complement to the existing entertainment venues in the district, bringing jobs and opportunities in the region.” 

Main work is expected to get underway next year, and the 3,800-capacity venue should be open for business in 2021.  

It is expected to attract around 300,000 visitors each year to more than 200 music, comedy and family entertainments events as well as providing the city with conference and meeting spaces.