Leeds & West Yorkshire

Operator announced for historic Bradford Odeon cinema

Artist impression of exterior of the building Image copyright Tim Ronalds Architects
Image caption The £15m redevelopment will restore the cinema's original Art Deco features

The NEC Group will run a restored 1930s cinema in Bradford as a concert and events centre, the charity behind the redevelopment has announced.

The derelict former Odeon cinema is being rebuilt as a 4,000 capacity music venue in a £15m restoration project.

NEC Group, which runs the National Exhibition Centre and other venues in Birmingham, will contribute £2m towards the project.

Campaigners need to raise additional funds before the venue can reopen.

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Charity Bradford Live was awarded the project to redevelop the derelict building by the city council in 2014.

Image caption Bradford Odeon has been derelict since 2000

It hopes to restore the main auditorium, the art deco restaurant and ballroom and reopen it as music and events venue by 2020.

Last year, the group suffered a setback when the Heritage Lottery Fund turned down an application for a £5m grant.

'Attracting investment'

Labour leader of Bradford Council Leader, Susan Hinchcliffe, said the authority was "working closely with Bradford Live to secure the remaining funding needed".

"The venue will bring new entertainment and cultural opportunities to Bradford, supporting our local economy by increasing visitors to the city, attracting investment and delivering jobs," she said.

The building opened in 1930 and was one of the largest cinemas in Britain. It was converted into three smaller cinemas and a bingo hall in 1969.

The landmark venue in the city centre has been derelict since closing in 2000.

Image copyright Tim Ronalds Architects
Image caption The restored main auditorium would hold up to 4,000 people

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