New Victoria Place is no more. The HCA have cancelled the development agreement with Langtree.
But what next for the Bradford Icon?
The proposed development was to build apartments, offices and a hotel. Langtree say the economic climate is stopping them from delivering those. Look at the hole at the other side of town. A proposed shopping centre that can’t be built until it’s 80% pre-let. We don’t know what the current percentage is, but it appears to be a lot lower than that, hence no building work.
This means shops, offices, hotels and apartments are out. So what’s left?
A recent report has suggested that footfall thoughout the centre (and the Arndale Centre) increases whenever there is an event held at City Park.
Yes it seems at the moment the only thing that can bring people into town to spend their money are events. Next door to the Odeon is the Alhambra. Earmarked to be bulldozed in the 1980s to build a car park, only to be restored, it is now the “jewel in the crown” of Bradford. (Just Google ‘bradford alhambra jewel in the crown’ to see how many times that has been said!).
The John Peel North idea is a great one. The Odeon is a purpose built theatre. Ok, so some of the features were lost when it was turned into the ‘Odeon Twins’ and also when the HCA were doing their structural work. How much, we don’t know. But what we do know, restoring the Odeon as a live act venue and conference centre makes total sense. The building itself compliments the theatre next door, and it will be another piece in the ‘cultural quarter’ jigsaw.
There you have it, Bradford Council. This is what the people of Bradford want. The Odeon restored into a public building to be used for live acts. I will waive my £1m consultancy fee if you make this happen.