NEC To Restore Bradford Odeon

Bradford Odeon Rendering
– Bradford Odeon Rendering

NEC Group, which also operates  and the National Exhibition Center, took a 30-year lease on the building, which, besides a main auditorium, also contains a 1930 art deco ballroom.

Both will be fully restored “to its original splendor to host weddings, banquets, corporate and conferencing events and other live performances,” according to a group statement.

The new Odeon will hold 4,000 people, and complement Bradford’s

By “bringing live music, comedy, Bollywood shows, and other live performances to the biggest ‘mid-size’ venue in the country outside London,” NECGI aims to put “Bradford firmly back on the national live music touring circuit.”

Phil Mead, the managing director of NEC Group’s arenas, commented: “Bradford Odeon, once restored, will breathe new life into an historic building which has played a pivotal role in the city’s past. The redeveloped venue, as part of the ongoing regeneration of Bradford city centre anchored around City Park, will deliver jobs and investment and transform the live event and entertainment offer of the City.”

The Kaiser Chiefs, who “played a lot of great old theatre venues,” said: “Beautiful old buildings are perfect for rock ‘n’ roll shows – it can make a real difference performing in these characterful rooms compared to plain black box type venues.”

Francis Rossi of , said: “What the country needs is more places that can host concerts, so that people can get out and hear great live music. We’ve toured up and down the country more than most and we know that places like this are essential. The Bradford Odeon has a great history and should be brought back into service.” 

The Odeon originally opened in 1930 in the heart of Bradford as a 3,318-seat art deco cinema and theatre, one of the largest in the UK at the time.

From 1969 to 2000 it operated as a two-auditoria cinema. 

According to NEC Group, “Bradford has the youngest, fastest growing population outside of London [and is] home to 20,000 students. The total population is to reach an estimated 560,000 by 2022.”