Iconic Bradford theatre up for auction

Clare and Jono Gadsby took over Bradford playhouse in 2012.

The New Bradford Playhouse, Little Germany.

Auction signs outside the New Bradford Playhouse.

The New Bradford Playhouse, Little Germany.

First published in News

An iconic Bradford theatre building is set to go under the hammer at auction.

The Bradford Playhouse is among the lots at the Eddisons sale at Leeds United FC's Elland Road on July 10. It is being offered on the instructions of the liquidators, Clough and Co, at a guide price of at least £175,000.

It is described as a vacant theatre premises with bars, studios, stores, and a 290-seat auditorium. Eddisons say it is within the Little Germany conservation area and is approximately 1,561 square metres in size.

A spokesman for Takeover Events Ltd, which took control of the Playhouse in 2012, said: "A sale in such a form could be catastrophic for the future development of the Playhouse as a theatre and arts space."

Jonno Gadsby, artistic director at the Playhouse, said Takeover hopes to raise the funds to buy the building. He added: "As a company we are sustainable. The liquidator has just decided to sell the building."

Since moving into the building on Chapel Street, Takeover has started to transform the theatre. It now has a varied programme of theatre, music and artistic events, as well as bookings going into next year.

The Takeover spokesman said the company would continue to trade and is not entering into any kind of administration.

Mr Gadsby added: "An auction indicates that they are willing to accept a much lower offer. We are hoping that this reduction in price will bring the building into a price bracket we can afford. We want to secure the building so you can have a future in using it.

"Owning the building will cure the stalemate that we currently find ourselves in terms of funding. Raising the funds to buy the building will prove that there is community support for the Playhouse and to justify it being given the funding it desperately needs."

Megan Murray, chairman of the Friends of Bradford Playhouse group, said: "Time is now limited for the future of the Bradford Playhouse – If you have ever performed, experienced or enjoyed the wonderful shows, music and art in this building please act now. We need the support of everyone in the city."

To donate or sign the group's petition, visit www.thenewbradfordplayhouse.co.uk

Mr Gadsby added: "At the New Bradford Playhouse, we believe we are far beyond just ‘a space to hire’. We may curate the spaces, offer mentorship and organise the shows and events, but all these elements are secondary to the larger community resource which is a professional theatre space for all. We are committed to continue to provide a facility for this kind of activity, as there is no equivalent sized or resourced space in Bradford."

Tomorrow, Bradford West Area Committee will hear a nomination to list the building as an Asset of Community Value. If it is recommended, it would allow the Playhouse team more time to prepare its bid for the property.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for Employment, Skills And Culture, said: "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history. The current tenants sound to be doing a good job. I hope that given more time they can raise the money to achieve their vision."

Tony Webber, of Eddisons, said: "This is an iconic building in an area which is set for a new lease of life once the nearby Westfield site is completed, a fact that I am sure will attract the attention of investors and developers."

Clough and Co were unavailable for comment.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:07am Tue 24 Jun 14

Avro says...

Surely the old playhouse location is now a better prospect as a result of the Westfield development and the footfall it is going to bring to Little Germany, or is that too obvious?
Surely the old playhouse location is now a better prospect as a result of the Westfield development and the footfall it is going to bring to Little Germany, or is that too obvious? Avro
  • Score: 12

9:11am Tue 24 Jun 14

bluebluerobin says...

Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy.

So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away.
Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy. So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away. bluebluerobin
  • Score: 13

9:20am Tue 24 Jun 14

Reality001 says...

bluebluerobin wrote:
Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy.

So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away.
There is nothing the Council can do, when they do not own the building.

Bradford Council has been subject to cuts of over £115m, where on earth do you expect them to get the money from to buy it ?

Clearly the Group involved do have a plan.
[quote][p][bold]bluebluerobin[/bold] wrote: Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy. So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away.[/p][/quote]There is nothing the Council can do, when they do not own the building. Bradford Council has been subject to cuts of over £115m, where on earth do you expect them to get the money from to buy it ? Clearly the Group involved do have a plan. Reality001
  • Score: -2

10:30am Tue 24 Jun 14

gouldengirl says...

Reality001 wrote:
bluebluerobin wrote:
Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy.

So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away.
There is nothing the Council can do, when they do not own the building.

Bradford Council has been subject to cuts of over £115m, where on earth do you expect them to get the money from to buy it ?

Clearly the Group involved do have a plan.
This theatre clearly falls within Cllr Hinchcliffe's remit. You would expect her to be doing something instead of standing on the sidelines and distancing herself. After all if the Council can find a £200k soft loan for a football club I'm sure they can find £175k for a theatre.
[quote][p][bold]Reality001[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bluebluerobin[/bold] wrote: Cllr. Hinchcliffe said "Bradford Playhouse is a significant part of Bradford's cultural history". For once she is correct. The loss of this facility at a time when there are small signs that Bradford is recovering would be a true tragedy. So what is Cllr Hinchcliffe and the Labour Group doing about preserving it, apart from mouthing platitudes? Apparently nothing. As usual they will stand by, gripped by inaction, whilst another opportunity for regeneration slips away.[/p][/quote]There is nothing the Council can do, when they do not own the building. Bradford Council has been subject to cuts of over £115m, where on earth do you expect them to get the money from to buy it ? Clearly the Group involved do have a plan.[/p][/quote]This theatre clearly falls within Cllr Hinchcliffe's remit. You would expect her to be doing something instead of standing on the sidelines and distancing herself. After all if the Council can find a £200k soft loan for a football club I'm sure they can find £175k for a theatre. gouldengirl
  • Score: 14

12:21pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Bone_idle18 says...

Can't they get part of the £35million Growth Zone money that the council have to aid business development in BD1?
Can't they get part of the £35million Growth Zone money that the council have to aid business development in BD1? Bone_idle18
  • Score: 7

1:21pm Tue 24 Jun 14

izzystillbreathing says...

Bone_idle18 wrote:
Can't they get part of the £35million Growth Zone money that the council have to aid business development in BD1?
Good idea, but this requires joined up thinking. There's no chance of that from Cllr Hinchcliffe.
[quote][p][bold]Bone_idle18[/bold] wrote: Can't they get part of the £35million Growth Zone money that the council have to aid business development in BD1?[/p][/quote]Good idea, but this requires joined up thinking. There's no chance of that from Cllr Hinchcliffe. izzystillbreathing
  • Score: 6

2:46pm Tue 24 Jun 14

philosospher says...

What's the betting, given the location, that it ends up as a Shisha Lounge or a Bazaar? £175K would be a laughable giveaway in many cities, but just off the race track Leeds Road has become, and with all the local hostelries and shops within walking distance having disappeared, it was too isolated from a 'culturally supportive' environment, another concept alien to Brad Met.
What's the betting, given the location, that it ends up as a Shisha Lounge or a Bazaar? £175K would be a laughable giveaway in many cities, but just off the race track Leeds Road has become, and with all the local hostelries and shops within walking distance having disappeared, it was too isolated from a 'culturally supportive' environment, another concept alien to Brad Met. philosospher
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree