Corroding steel beams supporting the Odeon building’s iconic domes are to be repaired.
Bradford Council is embarking on a £1.32 million scheme of urgent remedial and health and safety work on the city-centre landmark, paid for by its former owner, which includes the removal of recently-discovered asbestos and repairs to a Victorian culvert.
It is part of the deal which was struck when the Council bought the building from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) for the sum of £1.
Andy Taylor, the Council’s economic development delivery manager, explained the project said: “We took over the building from the Homes an Communities Agency for the princely sum of £1.
“Alongside that, we got a grant of £1.32m from the HCA for the health and safety and remedial work on the building.”
Mr Taylor said surveys of the building, carried out before the transfer, had revealed a number of structural problems which needed to be fixed as soon as possible.
These included corrosion to some steel ring beams which hold up the building’s two signature domes.
Mr Taylor said: “It’s not serious, in the sense that they won’t fall down, but they will need to be repaired.”
The Council has now appointed consultants to provide advice on how best to repair them.
The authority is also seeking advice from consultants on how to repair a Victorian culvert that takes the Bradford Beck through the car park behind the Odeon and passes underneath a corner of the building itself.
Mr Taylor said while the culvert was not leaking or flooding, its age meant it needed work doing to it.
And the Council’s asbestos team has found the potentially-deadly material in previously boarded-up rooms while conducting routine checks.
The majority of the asbestos was removed under the HCA’s ownership but more has now been found in doors and between the walls of the rooms.
A team will begin to remove this on Monday and it is hoped this work will be finished by early April, so the Council can start to remove old furniture and carpets from the building.
In total, the work is expected to use up the £1.32m HCA grant, which needs to be spent by March 2015 under the terms of the transfer.
The Council is considering three development plans for the building, which would see it become either a live performance venue, a creative hub or a swimming pool and leisure centre.