The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership has succeeded in its bid for £4 million to support the transformation of the former Bradford Odeon cinema.
The bid is one of just three chosen to share the £15 million made available through the Government’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.
Money secured from the fund will contribute to the rejuvenation of the building as a 4,000 capacity live event venue which is being led by Bradford Live with operating partner NEC Group International.
The Fund was created to ensure there is a long-term legacy across the North of England from the Great Exhibition of the North taking place in Newcastle-Gateshead in July.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “This project will bring a much-loved building back into use, provide an exciting new facility and support the continuing economic transformation of Bradford city centre.
“A rejuvenated Odeon will be a valuable addition to the vibrant cultural offer of the Leeds City Region which already includes the recently reopened Piece Hall in Halifax and The Hepworth Wakefield, the Art Fund Museum of the Year.
“The fact that the Leeds City Region bid is one of just three to secure funding from this fund shows the strength of the case we put forward in partnership with Bradford Council and Bradford Live and the power of the vision we share for Bradford and the wider area.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “This is fantastic news and another significant step forward for this project to bring the former Bradford Odeon building back into use, attracting 270,000 people to the city centre and boosting the economy by £10 million every year.
“Our success in this bid, following our shortlisting to host the Great Exhibition of the North, represents further national recognition of the strength of Bradford’s cultural contribution and the role it is playing to deliver a great quality of life and support the city’s economic growth.
“Thanks to the support from Bradford Council and the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, empty buildings and spaces across the city will be transformed into a venue to host events and further complement the Great Exhibition of the North over the summer months.”
More than 2,700 people signed a Bradford Live petition supporting the case for the former Bradford Odeon building being the subject of Leeds City Region’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund bid.
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