Group hoping to develop Bradford Odeon building gets cash grant to prepare case (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Group hoping to develop Bradford Odeon building gets cash grant to prepare case
One community group keen to redevelop the Odeon has received a £10,000 cash boost from a grant given by a social investment group.
Bradford One has received the cash from The Social Investment Business Group, which is a charity and a social enterprise, and they will use it to prepare their business case and Expression of Interest, as well as getting preliminary architects’ sketches drawn up. They plan to transform the Odeon into a medium-sized venue, supported by a hi-tech office development, to create a “home for creative entrepreneurs”.
The boost for the group comes days after Bradford Council announced that it wanted to get the Odeon and Tyrls Police Station transferred to it from the Homes and Communities Agency for £1 each – and a £4.1million maintenance cash pot for the essential health and safety work to be done.
If that deal goes ahead, then the council will be welcoming proposals to redevelop the site, including those from Bradford One and Bradford Live.
Bradford One said the grant award would be used to employ the professional services of several consultancies, alongside whom they have already been working. “A range of options for how the building could be used, based on years of feedback from the community campaign to save the building, will be assessed throughout this process,” the group said.
“With this grant now secured, we expect to announce our initial plans within the period allowed in the timetable the council have announced.
“We hope to release our architects’ plans and business case to the public within the next two months and will be seeking feedback in an open manner.
“We will also be working to release our membership offer of Bradford One so that anyone who wishes to have a direct say in the future of the development has an open and democratic chance to do so.”
Jim Mitcham, of Bradford One, when asked how they would anticipate the cost of redeveloping the building, said: “We will not release our figures on what we believe it will cost until the full business plan is written up, as we don’t want to create speculation. The problems flagged up by the survey are ones we are aware of and anticipated.
“We will go into a lot more detail in the next few months.”
Mark Nicholson, of the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group, which is playing an impartial role in helping those with an interest in the building, said: “We have the blueprints and we know how the building was constructed.
“Anyone who wanted to redevelop or refurbish before had to rely on structural surveys done in the past which painted a different picture to the latest one. We were told all structures were corroded and would cost up to £40million to put into some sort of use. Now it is nowhere near as bad as it was.”
The council, if they get the Odeon and the police station, have warned that if development has not started by July 2014, alternative propositions for the site will have to be looked at – including demolition.