Back in its heyday, the old Bradford Odeon housed a huge auditorium where such music legends as The Beatles, Buddy Holly and Tom Jones, once graced the stage.
Now, following today’s announcement that the NEC Group International is to be the new operator of this historic building, the venue has taken a major step towards becoming a world class venue once again.
The NEC Group is one of the UK’s largest live events venue operators and the news was hailed by Bradford City Council and Bradford Live as a significant moment in the city’s continuing regeneration.
The venue management company will take a 30-year lease on the building and invest £2m towards the conversion costs, with the transformed Odeon expected to open in 2020.
Bradford Live director Lee Craven, the man spearheading the bid to restore the former cinema, has welcomed the move.
He said: “This is the key that unlocks the whole project. It’s about finding the right operator and we’re sure that NEC is the ideal operator for the Odeon.”
Bradford Council Leader, councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said NEC Group was a major brand and one of the leaders in its field. “They have the ability to create a fantastic live events venue at the heart of our city in the historic Odeon.”
Coun Hinchcliffe added: “The venue will bring new entertainment and cultural opportunities to Bradford, supporting our local economy by increasing visitors to the city, attracting investment and delivering jobs.”