BRADFORD METROPOLITAN District Council has granted not-for-profit development group Bradford Live planning permission to turn a former Odeon cinema into a new 4,000-capacity live entertainment venue.
Work is already underway to remove the 1960s additions to the building and revitalise many of its original 1930s art deco features.
The venue, which has been vacant for nearly 20 years, is expected to open in 2020. with Birmingham-based NEC Group operating the building. NEC says it can deliver more than 200 concerts, comedy and family entertainment events per year.
“We really want to put Bradford back on the map for major touring artistes,” said NEC Group chairman of arenas Phil Mead. “The venue has seen legends such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones play there, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll see legends play there again.”
When open, Bradford Live’s auditorium will be able to accommodate 3,500 seated or 4,000 with stalls standing, making it one of the UK’s biggest theatre-size venues outside London.
NEC said its hospitality subsidiary Amplify will oversee VIP seating areas and pre-show hospitality.