Raising the redevelopment of the Bradford Odeon in Parliament, Imran has secured a vital Government meeting on their commitment to guaranteeing the future of one of Bradford’s most historic buildings.
The Bradford Odeon received fresh hope of restoration this year with an announcement in September that the NEC Group, who run some of the UK’s largest and most prestigious events arenas, agreed to operate the building and signed a 30 year lease backed by £2m of investment in the Odeon’s renovation.
However despite over 70% of the project now being funded, the project still falls short of the funding it needs, leading Imran to press the Minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to recognise the importance of the Odeon’s redevelopment in Bradford’s future and to meet with him to discuss ways forward for the project, both of which were readily agreed to by the Minister.
Intending to raise with the Minister Bradford Live’s bid for Northern Cultural Regeneration Funding (NCRF), Imran will back the call for the project to be given a large portion of this legacy funding set aside to amplify the Great Exhibition of the North. The primary goals of the NCRF are to encourage sustainable cultural and creative regeneration in the North of England and benefit areas that have historically had low levels of investment, goals which Imran believes the Odeon project fulfils perfectly.
The historic venue which once housed performances by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, is one of the last remaining super-cinemas of the 1930’s, and when redevelopment is completed by 2020 as expected by the NEC Group, as one of the largest mid-sized conference venues outside of London, it will be able to attract up to a quarter of a million additional visitors to Bradford each year, bringing a positive economic impact of £10m annually.
Speaking on the impending meeting, Imran said:
“I warmly welcome the Minister’s readiness to meet with me to discuss bridging the Odeon’s remaining funding gap, and it is a positive step in moving forward to deliver an exciting new cultural and entertainment venue in Bradford that will attract more visitors and enhance the city’s ongoing regeneration.
“Delivering the funding required to overcome the small funding gap also makes great business sense with a predicted economic benefit to Bradford of £10m annually, and ringing endorsements from a range of musical artists backing the viability of the venue, including the Kaiser Chiefs who have stated that the Odeon will be a regular on the UK music touring circuit.
“It is about time that Bradford’s full potential is recognised and unlocked, and I am excited at the prospect of restoring the Odeon to its past life again and to the considerable benefits that this will bring for Bradord.”