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New doubts over former Bradford Odeon site project
8:50am Monday 19th March 2012 in News
Hopes for the future development of the crumbling former Odeon cinema in Bradford city centre have been thrown into further confusion after it emerged the architects behind the New Victoria Place project have gone into administration.
The northern arm of CareyJones Chapmantolcher was placed into the hands of administrators earlier this month because of “poor economic conditions” in the regions, said a spokesman for administrators Armstrong Watson.
CareyJones revealed its vision for the New Victoria Place scheme in 2008, with artist’s impressions showing office space, a 120-bedroom hotel, 170 new apartments and a restaurant and café bar, served by a basement car park with 80 to 100 spaces.
Now Mike Kienlen and Dave Robson, of Armstrong Watson, have been appointed as joint administrators for the company’s Studio North business. It has followed Artisan H Limited – one of two development companies behind the multi-million pound scheme – into administration.
If those companies fail to come out of that process, Langtree will be left as the remaining partner in an agreement with site owners the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to demolish the Odeon and re-develop the site.
Chris Jones, a former director of CareyJones, told the Telegraph & Argus, he had started a new business, known as Leeds Studio.
When asked about the future of the redevelopment of the former Odeon, Mr Jones said: “It is not something we have actually been involved in and the previous company had not been for some time.
“If and when the client (Langtree) gets in touch with us, we will look at it under our new company.”
The London company of CareyJones Chapmantolcher remains unaffected by the administration of the northern company and continues to trade from its offices in Bloomsbury Square, a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for KPMG, the company appointed to deal with the administration of Artisan H Ltd, said: “The administrators require further detail about Artisan H’s involvement in this joint venture to develop the Odeon and are pursuing such specifics through the company’s records.
“These are proving to be an incomplete picture of the company’s activities, which is slowing progress. It is too early for the administrators to comment on the impact Artisan H’s insolvency will have on the development.”
Tom Hustler, of the HCA, said that Morphe, a new company which has its offices in Little Germany, Bradford, is “acting on behalf of Langtreee Artisan” in the re-development of the Odeon site.
The company’s managing director is Stephen Talboys, a former director of city centre regeneration at Bradford Council. No-one at the company was available for comment at the weekend.
Langtree has previously stated that it remains committed to the New Victoria Place project.