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David Hockney backs bid to rescue Odeon
1:51pm Thursday 17th May 2012 in Bradford
Renowned Bradford artist David Hockney has lent his support to the campaign to save the city’s former Odeon building from demolition.
Mr Hockney, who exhibited his landscape work in a Royal Academy exhibition earlier this year, has sent a message to the Save The Odeon group, saying: “They should not pull anything more down in Bradford, especially that splendid building that could be used for many imaginative things. I support you in this. All the best in your campaign.”
He is the latest in a string of high-profile names backing the campaign to save the 1930s city centre landmark from bulldozers.
Actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough voiced his support on Twitter this week, retweeting messages of support for the building, and declaring it to be a “good cause”. He joins a growing list, including actresses Barbara Windsor, Imelda Staunton, Jenny Agutter, DJ Mark Radcliffe, director Michael Winner, and architect George Clarke, from Channel 4’s Restoration Man show.
A spokesman for the campaign to save the Odeon said: “The fact that our most famous artist, whose very words – One Landscape, Many Views – are being used as the slogan of our regeneration, completely disagrees with the demolition, sends out a very clear message: the demolition is completely at odds with any sensible and caring vision of the city’s regeneration.
“This same view is held by the majority of Bradfordians, and by members of our new Council. It is time for the Homes and Communities Agency to listen before it is too late.”
Last week campaigners unveiled alternative plans to turn the building into a music venue and archive should it be saved. They want to restore the building and preserve its iconic towers to enable it to be turned into the John Peel Centre for the North.
The idea is inspired by the original John Peel Centre for Creative Arts which is based in Stowmarket, Suffolk, near the late DJ’s home. A petition supporting the proposal attracted more than 1,000 signatures in hours last week.
But any alternative plans rely on an existing proposal from developer Langtree falling through. The company wants to demolish the Odeon and build apartments, offices and a hotel as part of its New Victoria Place scheme.
The building is now shrouded in scaffolding and plastic sheeting while £700,000 of work takes place to repair the roof and remove asbestos.
A Section 106 legal agreement is set to be signed shortly, which will then give Langtree eight months to demonstrate to Bradford Council that its scheme is viable and can be financed.