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Bradford Odeon All Set To Open In Autumn 2020
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Bradford Live - View from City Park - Tim Ronalds Architects
The decision to grant planning permission for the refurbishment of Bradford's former Odeon cinema to create a new 4,000 capacity world class live entertainment and events venue, was unanimously approved by Bradford Metropolitan District Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee after plans were submitted on 7 March 2019.

The application has been granted to developers Bradford Live, the Not for Profit distribution social enterprise, led by local business people, which has been working non stop to secure a long term viable use for the iconic historic building in Bradford city centre.

Support for the historic venue has come too from some of the biggest names in the music industry, namely Francis Rossi of Status Quo and Yorkshire artists The Kaiser Chiefs and Settle born John Newman.

The venue has stood empty since 2000, previously it was a cinema but prior to 1968 it was one of the biggest live venues in the country, with The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones and most famously The Beatles playing concerts there.

Birmingham based NEC Group will bring their live event expertise to Bradford as the venue operator. The group has made a 30 year commitment to bring music, comedy, family entertainment and many other live events to the region, with plans for over 200 events annually.

Bradford Live - View of the Auditorium - Tim Ronalds Architects
The venue will be the only one of its size in the north of England.

Lee Craven, founding director of Bradford Live said:

"We are delighted that we can now start the work together and give Bradford back a fantastic entertainment venue. It is a tremendous asset to have on board the expertise of the NEC Group, together we will create a world class live event space overlooking City Park.

"The Bradford Live venue will rival the very best mid-size halls, such as the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo and the O2 Brixton Academy. A near 4000 capacity brings the excitement of a big crowd without the distance from the stage. We expect Bradford to become one of the ‘must plays’ of the live music touring circuit.

"We thank the council and people of Bradford for their unwavering support in getting us to this stage and all our financial bakers including the Department for Culture, Media and Support, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. We are planning to open our doors in Autumn of 2020 and are now looking forward to the excitement of opening night and beyond."

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Phil Mead, NEC Group Chairman, Arenas and Ticket Factory said:

"We see so much potential in Bradford Live and are excited that the project takes a step closer to becoming reality following this positive announcement.

"We aim to put Bradford back on the map for live entertainment and music, as well as provide a space for communities and businesses to come together to learn, brainstorm, plan or just celebrate!

"This site has seen some significant artists pass through its doors in the past and we are in the business of making that happen once more."

The economic and cultural benefits the venue will bring not just to Bradford but the whole region will have a major impact on the region and also give music fans a world class venue right on their doorstep.

Bradford Odeon All Set To Open In Autumn 2020, 10th March 2019, 21:00 PM