Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford Odeon cinema owners agree to £1 council sale

Odeon in Bradford
Image caption Bradford's landmark former Odeon building has been derelict since it closed its doors in 2000

A former Bradford cinema is to be sold to the city council for £1.

The Odeon cinema owner, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), said it would sell the building to Bradford Council as well as investing £1.3m in the site for safety work.

The landmark 1930s cinema has been derelict since it closed in July 2000.

Under the proposed new deal, the HCA would also sell the former Tyrls police station to the authority for £1.

The HCA would spend £2.2m on maintenance work on that site.

Bradford Council's executive will consider the details of the proposed deal before making a final decision.

'Benefit community'

The former Odeon building was bought by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward in 2003, which later entered into a development agreement with Langtree Artisan.

That agreement, which would have seen the demolition of the building, was scrapped last September after the HCA took over the Odeon site following the abolition of Yorkshire Forward.

David Curtis, HCA executive director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said the sale of the Odeon was integral to the future of Bradford city centre.

"It should also give confidence to interested groups to finalise their plans for returning the former Odeon to economic and social use that will benefit the Bradford community," he said.

'Provides lifeline'

Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council's executive member for the environment, said he welcomed the proposed deal.

"It provides a lifeline for the Odeon building while interested groups come forward with commercially viable proposals for its future use."

Bradford-born artist David Hockney and film director Lord Attenborough are among a number of high profile people who have supported a campaign to save the Odeon.

Several ideas for the future of the building have previously been put forward, including turning it into a cultural arts centre or a music venue.

Groups interested in redeveloping the Odeon building have until 13 July to submit their proposals, the council said.

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