THE COVERS are coming off the Odeon building as the owners gear up to start work on the building.

The scaffolding that has hidden the former cinema is soon to be removed as the momentum builds on the £19.8m Bradford city centre redevelopment.

Preparatory building works are scheduled for November, the main construction is due to start next summer and the new 4,000 capacity music venue is scheduled to open in late 2020.

Councillor Ross-Shaw, Portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “The Odeon’s scaffolding was erected in early 2012 by The Homes and Communities Agency to help them make repairs and inspections.

“The scaffolding was never designed to be permanent and has reached the end of lifespan so we will be removing it.”

After partnering with NEC Group in September 2017, Bradford Live’s design team of architects and engineers have been working continuously behind the scenes to develop the details of the scheme ready for preparatory building works in November and the main construction anticipated to start in the summer of 2019.

Kirsten Branston, of Bradford Live, said: “Removing the scaffolding will give Bradford Live an opportunity to better assess the building in preparation for the creation of a new cultural venue that the city can be proud of.

“We are pleased with how our plans are progressing and we are still on track for opening in late 2020.”

The 1930s building, next to the Alhambra Theatre and overlooking City Park, has been vacant since it closed in 2000. There have been numerous proposals for the site in the past, but a groundswell of support for the building from within the city has protected the building for future generations.

Developers expect the venue to host more than 200 events a year, attracting 270,000 people to the city centre annually.

A spokesman for the NEC Group and Bradford Live told the Telegraph & Argus in July that in September, they would be carrying out preparation building works which will include a full strip-out of the 1960s cinema and some partitions and the creation of a new rear-of-stage load-in door.

These works were put out to tender with a demolition firm to be appointed.

He said the scope of this phase was bigger than first planned - thanks in part to the success of various funding sources this year - and was expected to last ten weeks.

A planning application for the full re-development is due to be submitted to Bradford Council in autumn.