One of the groups vying to turn the former Odeon building into a live music venue has been given £90,000 to pay for expert help with its plans.
Bradford One described the grant as a “huge boost” as it works on a detailed business plan to submit to Bradford Council. The group is one of two bidding to turn the landmark building into a venue for live music and entertainment.
It and Bradford Live have both made it through to the next stage of the Council-led process to decide what will happen to the city centre building.
The cash has been awarded by Social Investment Business (SIB) which manages the Community Ownership and Management of Assets Fund, on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government.
That fund was created specifically to support community-led initiatives to take on, and run, buildings such as the former Bradford Odeon.
Chairman of Bradford One, Gideon Seymour said: “We are delighted that SIB recognise the significance of our proposals for Bradford and the potential impact they can have on not only the former Odeon building but also the whole city centre.
“This major grant helps put us on a level playing field and means that our submission to the Council will be robust and evidenced.”
The Feasibility Grant will enable Bradford One to commission the necessary expert input into its plans, as part of stage two of Bradford Council’s Expression of Interest process.
The interested groups must demonstrate that a market exists for what they have planned and that there is interest from major venue operators. It also asks that both organisations submit a more detailed business plan showing how the development will be paid for and, once open, that it will generate enough money to be financially viable. Bradford One is working with a team of experts including Shipley architects Halliday Clark, project management consultants Shine Concepts, of Leeds, Bradford-based Quantity Surveyors Michael Eyres Partnership and Bradford property agents Mark Brearley & Co.
The funding will also be spent on detailed market research for all aspects of Bradford One’s plans, including live music and other entertainment, conferences, weddings, restaurants and bars as well as its plans for the empty site at the back of the building.
Last month, Bradford Council said that it would make a decision on which bid would be successful in November and the groups had until May 30 to submit detailed business plans.