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Fate of Bradford's Odeon will be decided by end of year
The future of the former Odeon building in Bradford city centre will be decided before the year is out.
A decision on which group will get to transform the landmark into a live venue will be taken in November, a new report by Bradford Council says.
But while one of the groups vying to take on the Council-owned building has raised concerns about the tight timescale, the other wants the final decision to be taken sooner.
Bradford One and Bradford Live are both hoping to turn the landmark building back into a music and events venue.
Gideon Seymour, chairman of Bradford One, said it would be in regular contact with the Council over the coming months, and would discuss whether the timescale was achievable.
He said: “It’s better to get it right than do it quickly.”
When asked whether the group would request an extension, Mr Seymour said: “It’s far too early to say. Everybody wants to see the momentum kept up.”
But he said Bradford One had to raise funds to do the necessary work on its bid, which could take time.
However, Lee Craven of Bradford Live said he had originally been told a final decision was due this summer, which he would have preferred.
He said: “It would be good to have a decision in summer, one way or the other. We don’t really want to lose momentum.”
But he agreed that a Council-imposed deadline of May 30 to submit detailed business plans ahead of a second, tougher assessment stage was proving challenging.
To get through the first stage, the groups had to score 51 per cent or above on a range of criteria.
The second stage has a higher 70 per cent threshold, and each plan will have to answer two key questions: is there a market for their proposal, and will it pay its way?
Any plan getting through will submit even more detailed proposals later in the year, before a final decision is taken by the Council’s Executive in November, a report says.
Bradford One is holding a meeting for members today at 6pm at Forster’s Bistro in City Park, overlooking the former 1930s cinema and music venue.
The Council report on progress so far will also go before the Council’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday.
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