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Talks go on to resolve future of landmark site
Photographs of the interior of Bradford’s Odeon building have been released by rescue group campaigners.
The images show the contrasting interiors of two of the rooms that were used for screening films when it was a cinema – one following the removal of the cinema wall drapes with seating intact and another following the removal of asbestos, the seats and carpet.
Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) spokesman Mark Nicholson said: “The inside of the Odeon is certainly not as bad as many had been told.
“We are optimistic that a developer could, indeed, make use of the main structure of the building as it is. Some work had to be done to rid the building of asbestos, and it’s true to say that some carpets and seats had to go as they had been contaminated.
“However, Artez, the contractors, have been sympathetic to the majority of the building and I can report that BORG are much more confident today than we were a few weeks ago.”
He added the group’s thanks to the HCA for making the visit possible.
BORG is to launch a new website next week and will then publish more photographs of the visit.
It now two weeks since the HCA, which inherited the building a year ago, terminated a legal agreement with developer Langtree, which had wanted to demolish the 1930s building and build a £40 million New Victoria Place development of offices, a hotel and apartments.
The HCA took action after Langtree called for more time to market its scheme to potential occupants, and had delayed the signing of a vital Section 106 agreement, which would have triggered an eight-month period in the development agreement.
This failed to comply with the terms of the agreement, said the HCA, so it took the decision to terminate it.
Members of BORG have also been back in contact with a local developer who is still interested in restoring the Odeon. The proposal is expected to be unveiled shortly.
A spokesman for the HCA said: “We were happy to honour our offer to take members of BORG inside the former Odeon once we had removed the asbestos and made it safe. During the visit, we explained that we had been preventing further deterioration to the structure and fabric of the building, such as repairing the roof and replacing damaged sections of the steelwork. We will continue to protect and maintain the building while we resolve its future.
“We are currently talking to Bradford Council about the potential transfer of the site and how we might involve the community in examining viable options for the building.”
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