Former Odeon latest: Extra lottery funds plus new look for Bradford Live

June 24, 2019 Bradford Civic Society

Former Odeon latest: Extra lottery funds plus new look for Bradford Live

The team behind the ambitious project to re-open Bradford’s former Odeon super-cinema as a live music and entertainment venue have successfully secured almost £1million of extra funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Ben Middleton (Bradford Council), Lee Craven (Bradford Live) and Phil Mead (NEC Group), Image courtesy of Bradford Live.

News of the award follows the unveiling of a new ‘brand identity’ for the upcoming venue, with operators NEC Group vowing to ‘bring the beat back to Bradford’. Councillors, business representatives and community leaders were given a sneak preview of what’s to come in the new Bradford Live venue, during an event at the National Science and Media Museum in early June.

Commenting on the extra funding boost, Bradford Live Director Chris Morrell said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Heritage Lottery as it will enable us to celebrate the heritage of the building, both architecturally and culturally.”

Speaking at the unveiling of Bradford Live’s new brand, NEC Group Chairman Phil Mead said, “We really want to put Bradford back on the map for major touring artists. The venue has seen legends play there, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll see legends play there again. We are in preliminary talks with a number of promoters and event organisers to discuss the opening season and will announce this as our plans progress next year and construction dates are finalised.”

Formally the Bradford Odeon, demolition work inside the building is now well under way, with many of the original art deco features revealed for the first time in over 40 years, as the concrete from the 1960s cinema structure is stripped out. The next stage of development will be the start of the renovation and restoration works, paving the way for a grand re-opening in the 2020/21 season.

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