The transformation of a vacant former cinema in Bradford has been further bolstered with an extra £4 million confirmed from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund. The 1930s twin domed cinema will be turned into a 4,000 capacity live events venue, with the funding secured by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
The venue, due to be run by the NEC Group, will aim to put on around 225 events to more than 270,000 people every year, creating 50 jobs in the city. The project is being led by a not-for-profit social enterprise, Bradford Live, assisted by Bradford Council.
Kirsten Branston, programme manager at Bradford Live, commented: “We would like to thank all those who backed the bid which has benefited from cross party support, in particular the efforts of Bradford Council and Bradford’s MPs. The redevelopment of this iconic building will be a magnificent legacy project for the Great Exhibition of the North.”
Phil Mead, managing director for Arenas and NEC Group, added: “This is a project already generating a huge amount of excitement and goodwill – both as a building with tremendous history in its own right but also as a flagship investment that will help deliver a fantastic new venue for the city. This latest funding news is a great vote of confidence in the project and warmly welcomed as another important step towards bringing the vision to life.
“We are proud to partner with Bradford Live to deliver what will be a unique addition to the UK live entertainments market. As the design and redevelopment planning continues at pace, we look forward to harnessing the full breadth and depth of NEC Group operational expertise to realise a full and diverse programme of events, set to open in 2020.”