PEOPLE who bought tickets for the first two shows announced at Bradford Live have told of their disappointment after both events were cancelled - and called for answers on the venue's future.

Customers with tickets for 'Legend: The Music of Bob Marley' and 'Thank You For The Music - The Ultimate Tribute to Abba' - which were scheduled to take place at Bradford Live in November - have been offered refunds after they were informed that the shows will now not be held there.

Birmingham-based NEC Group - which was due to take over the former Odeon building by the middle of this year, turning it into a showpiece entertainment venue - has repeatedly declined to confirm its commitment to Bradford Live.

Earlier this month, Bradford Council said "there is a contract with NEC and that remains in place", adding that building work on Bradford Live was "running to schedule" and due to be finished in June.

The NEC Group is still referenced on Bradford Live's official website.

'We deserve to know what's really going on with Bradford Live'

One of those who bought tickets earlier this year for the Bob Marley show was Sally Birch.

She said she received an email from the Ticket Factory, which is part of the NEC Group, on Friday night, confirming that the show would not go ahead at Bradford Live.

Sally told the Telegraph & Argus: "I'm disappointed.

"It's my partner's 65th birthday that week and we were very much looking forward to going to the show for this special occasion.

"I've lived in Bradford all my life and have many fond memories of the Odeon cinema.

"When it closed down, it was a sad day for Bradford - but then we got funding from various different sources for Bradford Live and there was a lot of excitement for the project.

"But now, we're in a big period of uncertainty about Bradford Live.

"Now the events have been cancelled, I think it's a significant development and I really do think the people of Bradford deserve an explanation as soon as possible.

"The no comments, the brief statements from the parties involved - it's just not good enough.

"A lot of taxpayers' money has been invested in Bradford Live - we're all stakeholders in this and we want to see it succeed - and we deserve to know what's really going on."

Sally said she used to be a Conservative councillor on Bradford Council and served as shadow portfolio holder for culture, and had a tour of the building three years ago.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sally Birch on her tour of the Bradford Live building in 2021Sally Birch on her tour of the Bradford Live building in 2021 (Image: Submitted)

She added: "I've no political axe to grind now, I'm no longer a councillor, and I'm speaking as a resident, a taxpayer, when I say I really care about Bradford Live.

"We're just months away from the start of Bradford being UK City of Culture next year, and Bradford Live was meant to play a key part in this.

"To be at this point now where we don't have a clue what's happening with it, it's simply not good enough."

She pointed out that Labour and Green Party politicians had also publicly called for clarity on the status of Bradford Live, saying it was "an issue that is of concern to us all".

'What is plan B?'

Another person - who had tickets for the Abba show - told the T&A "the continued silence" over the situation with Bradford Live was "not good".

Others who bought tickets for the shows urged the T&A to continue "pushing for answers" on the matter.

Sally questioned what would happen to the Bradford Live building if it is confirmed the NEC Group has pulled out of the multi-million pound project - a question the T&A put to Bradford Council earlier this month.

In response, a Council spokesperson said: "There is a contract with NEC and that remains in place.

"Building works at this world class venue are running to schedule and on target for practical completion in June."

According to Companies House, Bradford Live is a private limited company by guarantee, meaning it does not have shares or shareholders, with Bradford Council currently listed as the only 'person of significant control' for Bradford Live.

The Council previously said queries about acts and tickets needed to go to the NEC Group.

The T&A again contacted the NEC Group about Bradford Live yesterday in light of the news about the cancelled shows - but no response was received.