Who is Bradford Live?
Bradford Live is a group dedicated to the transformation and long-time viability of the much-loved Bradford Odeon building. It is led by Lee Craven, born and bred in Bradford, who wants to help the city’s rebirth, and believes that the Odeon is key to that end. Over four years, Lee brought together a team of experts each with deep experience creating live performance spaces. This team concluded that the only viable solution for the former Odeon is to recreate the original huge auditorium, making it the third largest auditorium in Yorkshire, with a capacity of 3500 seated and 4000 with stalls standing. A venue of this size would attract national and international performers, and its flexibility would also allow sporting events, corporate product launches and conferences.
Bradford Live gets no funding from any public body or from Bradford Council. Lee Craven has paid for all Bradford Live’s costs to date. The capital cost of transforming the Odeon building means that there is no prospect of any purely private developer making a commercial return from the project. Rather, Bradford Live has always stated that to succeed, a joint effort between the private and public sectors is needed. We still believe this. We are currently talking with potential commercial partners and have built a comprehensive funding and business model, which the Council has accepted as a workable and viable solution. With the Council’s help and support we are working to secure the necessary public grant funding needed to meet the transformation costs. As for the ongoing running costs of the venue, we are adamant that these must be met by a commercial operator, and that no ‘revenue funding’ from the Council is possible, or even desirable.
Bradford Live does not seek any commercial gain from this project. Indeed, we are in the process of establishing a registered charity – Bradford Live Trust – that we hope will play a central role in the Odeon transformation, as well as supporting and encouraging live music and entertainment more widely in Bradford. A board of trustees from a wide spectrum of the Bradford community has been appointed and we hope to announce a patron later this year. Bradford Live has already begun sponsoring key Bradford events, such as the Inspirational Women’s Awards 2014, and the Joshua Project young people’s award in April. Further Bradford Live-sponsored events will follow later this year and into 2016.
We hope you will join us on this journey to transform this landmark building. Please use the comments sections on our website, Facebook and Twitter to give us your opinions on our plans, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.