RN Wooler & Co which is a Keighley-based contractor has won the contract works for modification of a derelict cinema worth £22m works. This revamp will take place in the centre of Bradford while the set firm will be the main contractor.
Works are due to start later this spring. Yorkshire Forward bought the building for £2m in 2003. The Bradford Live project is set to turn the city centre’s former Odeon building into a multi-purpose live events venue.
The venue opened in 1930 as the New Victoria, and was the biggest cinevariety theatre outside London and the first in the UK to be purpose-built for screening ‘talkies’. It closed its doors in 2000 and has been empty ever since.
Currently the plans are to demolish and replace the site with offices that got scrapped when the regional development agency itself was abolished in 2012. Ownership of the Odeon was then transferred to the Homes & Communities Agency.
Later it got handed over to Bradford Council for £1 in 2013. In 2014 the council approved a plan by Bradford Live, a not-for-profit distribution social enterprise, led by local business people, to create a live music venue after inviting developers to submit commercially viable ideas.
Birmingham-based NEC Group is investing £2m into the conversion works and will run the building on completion of works. The redevelopment work is expected to create 60 temporary construction jobs and five construction apprenticeship roles.
The team includes Buro Happold as mechanical & electrical engineers, structural engineer Price & Myers, Aedas as architect, and Turner & Townsend as cost consultant / project manager.