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Talks held on future of development
The creation of a sporting village at Odsal remains a Bradford Council goal, a senior councillor has pledged.
But aspects of how the long-standing plans will come to fruition remain unclear with private investment hard to come by, according to newly-published minutes of a meeting of the Council’s regeneration and economy scrutiny committee.
A £5 million contract with the doomed regional development agency Yorkshire Forward for remedial work has been withdrawn and a timescale on delivering the project is not easy to establish, the report says.
The document also shows that Councillor Dave Green, the Council’s executive member for regeneration and economy, told the committee one of the problems was that the private sector would not back the Council’s plans because the sector seemed to have been put off by the project not being “a main Council priority” in the last ten years.
He said financing of the project was an issue.
At the same meeting, minutes show Tony Stephens, the Council’s assistant director of leisure services, said £15m had been agreed for the project but “raising any shortfall would take time”.
A steering group, representing partners involved in the project, is chaired by Councillor the Reverend Paul Flowers, the Council’s executive member for culture planning and housing.
In a statement to the Telegraph & Argus, Coun Flowers said: “The ambition to create a sports village, including a new stadium at Odsal, remains. We are working with partner groups to explore ways of achieving that goal.
“However, the sports village plan is subject to the same pressures as all council services and spending plans. We can’t make any firm funding commitments while the Council budget has yet to be agreed.”
Council leader Ian Greenwood said he echoed the sentiments of Coun Flowers.
Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, leader of the Tory group, said: “Last year’s Conservative Group Capital Budget included funding towards the Odsal Sporting Village.
“I note that the Labour Group appears to remain committed to the project.
“Obviously we are in extraordinary times. It really is time for something to happen.”
Peter Hood, who sits on the steering group as chairman of Bradford Bulls, whose stadium would be redeveloped as part of the project, said: “We are very busy. The partners group continues its work as normal.”