'Bradford Live' Costs Rise

The overall cost of the project has now risen to £22.7 million.

The redevelopment of Bradford’s former Odeon building will get an extra £32,500 funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority – and it has been revealed that the overall cost of the project has now risen to £22.7 million.

Plans to redevelop the former cinema into a 3,800 capacity music venue took major steps forward in the past 18 months, with the NEC group announced as the operator of the venue, the strip-out beginning shortly before Christmas and a planning application submitted for the building’s refurbishment.

The Combined Authority funding will be to help the extensive strip-out of the building.

Originally WYCA had agreed to pay £325,000 towards this work, but after the cost of those proposed works rose, they agreed to increase that funding to £357,500.

A report going to the Combined Authority referring to the increase in funding also reveals that the overall cost of the development is now estimated to be £22.7 million.

In 2016 the estimated cost of the project was £15.6 million. By March last year, when the Government announced a £4 million funding bid for the venue had been successful, the estimated cost had risen to £19.8 million.

Due to “detailed design work” and by looking at heritage, structural and counter-terrorism issues relating to the building, that figure has now risen to £22.7 million.

The redevelopment of the 1930s cinema, which had been empty for almost two decades, is the work of Bradford Live. It is being funded through a mix of grants, private investment and a £12 million loan from Bradford Council. The project is seen as one of the main regeneration priorities for the city centre.

Early in Bradford Live’s plans, the opening date was due to be in 2019, but the venue is now expected to open in autumn 2020.

According to Bradford Live, that delay was due to the project being more complex than initially anticipated, and it taking longer than anticipated to get an operator on board.

Workers started the strip-out late last year, and the main construction work is due to start in the summer.

A spokesperson for Bradford Live said: "£15.6m was an initial indicative figure from the original WYCA grant application in 2016.

"£19.8m is the figure we have been working on since 2017 which includes a £2m investment from the NEC Group.

"The project has now developed through RIBA Stage 3 and is currently in Stage 4, Technical Design. The output of this detailed design work is that the project is now costed at £22.7m.

"This will address the heritage, access and planning, counter-terrorism and structural needs of the building, maximise the venue’s potential and meet the operational and business requirements of our commercial partner who are specialist live events operators."

Once up and running, the venue is predicted to attract 270,000 people to the city centre, host 200 events and boost the economy by £10 million every year.

Shows will include music, comedy and family entertainment, and the venue will also offer hosting for private functions, flexible conference and meeting spaces and corporate events.

A decision on the planning application is due to be decided by Bradford Council in March.

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