NEC Group sparked excitement this week as councillors, business and community leaders were given a sneak preview of what’s to come in the new Bradford Live venue, during an event at the National Museum of Science and Media.
Formally the Bradford Odeon, the demolition work inside the building is now well under way, with many of the original art deco features revealed for the first time in over 40 years, as the concrete from the 1960s cinema structure is stripped out. The next stage of development will be the start of the renovation and restoration works, paving the way for a grand re-opening in the 2020/21 season.
The venue will boast the renaissance of the beautiful 1930s ballroom, which will become an 750 person capacity space, for conferencing and banqueting, whilst the impressive double height main auditorium will be reinstated as a 4000 capacity live events venue. Expect top music acts from the British, Asian and International music scenes, comedians and family entertainment, as well as catering to suit everyone – a la carte dining through to street food, vegan to halal. NEC Group's hospitality arm Amplify will have a variety of options to upgrade event experiences to include VIP seating areas and pre-show hospitality.
Speaking at the event Phil Mead, Chairman of Arenas and The Ticket Factory, said: “We really want to put Bradford back on the map for major touring artists. The venue has seen legends play there, such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll see legends play there again. We are in preliminary talks with a number of promoters and event organisers to discuss the opening season and will announce this as our plans progress next year and construction dates are finalised.
“As well as creating the full time equivalent of around fifty new jobs, the venue will play an important part in the ongoing regeneration of the city led by Bradford Council and a range of partners. It will help to boost the night time economy of Bradford, increasing footfall in the city which in turn benefits local restaurants, bars and hotels.
“We’d like to encourage everyone in the Bradford area and beyond to start to share our enthusiasm for Bradford Live. We’ve just launched an iconic new brand for the project, which nods to the geometric shapes of the art déco era and gives a reflection of the impressive towers that crown the building. There’s also a great new website, which is the place to sign up if you want to be first in line for the latest news, behind the scenes updates and tickets for your favourite artists. All you need to do is visit bradfordlive.co.uk/signup to access to exclusive content and venue updates, along with details of the opening season, event announcements, priority bookings, competitions and more.”