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Careyjones' victory spells end for Bradford Odeon

The much-loved Odeon cinema in Bradford will be bulldozed to make way for a controversial Careyjones office and leisure scheme

This week, Bradford councillors narrowly voted in favour of the £35 million New Victoria Place project – the Leeds-based practice’s fourth design for the plot – which will house offices, a 100-bed hotel, bars, cafés and community leisure space around a central square. The approved scheme is a third smaller than previous proposals.

The decision to redevelop the site of the city’s 1930s Odeon cinema (pictured bottom right) comes three years after the outfit won the original design contest and amid a wave of protests.

Although English Heritage has repeatedly refused to recommend the turreted city centre building for listing, the Twentieth Century Society (click here to read its comments), local campaign group BORG (Bradford Odeon Rescue Group) and CABE have all voiced their concerns over the scheme.

In its latest design review, the design watchdog said the proposals ‘needed more work’ and that a ‘subtler architectural approach could still be developed for the proposed buildings on this site’ (click here to read the full design review comments).

However, Langtree Artisan, the developer on the project, hailed the move as a ‘landmark decision’.

Simon Peters, director of Langtree Artisan said: ‘This is the right decision to provide the catalyst for the regeneration of Bradford.

‘The project team has worked hard to create a viable scheme that is deliverable, iconic and beneficial to all Bradfordians. We will now work on the detailed designs and engage with those who have already expressed an interest in being a part of New Victoria Place.”

Those in favour of the project believe that 1,350 jobs will be created by the project, which they see as crucial to the regeneration of Bradford.

Other regeneration projects include City Park, the Learning Quarter, Eastbrook Hall and the relocation of the Magistrates Court.

Readers' comments (7)

  • :( Poor Odeon.

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  • Indeed. A terrible decison.

    :-(

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  • A loss to Bradford's heritage.

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  • About time too, this festering lump of brickwork is no longer up to the job - clearly, otherwise an interested party would have taken the building on & made a refurbishment viable. Times move on, live with it.

    Unfortunately though, while calls for a new high class concert venue have been ignored as 'not viable' & having 'no demand for this kind of thing'; Leeds decide to do exactly that with their share of the sale of Leeds Bradford Airport. Bradford on the other hand, squander their share on meaningless ventures of little lasting benefit. This whole debacle is a great opporrtunity missed, BRADFORD - GET SOMEBODY WITH VISION IN CHARGE.

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  • The Members of Bradford's planning committee should hang their heads in shame - they have condemned a fine local landmark that is distinctively Bradford and cherished by its citizens. In its place they have approved a stodgy lumpen dog's dinner that could be in any third rate provincial city anywhere in the world. The Odeon could so easily be retained and incorporated into a stunning development if only those in charge of Bradford's future had sufficient imagination and vision. But alas they have demonstrated they haven't - Poor Bradford!

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  • Exactly. And more shame to English Heritage for agreeing to it.

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  • This is an utterly deplorable act of architectural vandalism. The Odeon/NewVic/Gaumont is an important piece of Bradford's characteristically unique and timeless centre. Designed and built locally,it has stood for 80 years and, although purposefully neglected by it's present owners, still remains structurally sound.
    The local council are a disgrace and have not represented the thousands of local people who have voiced objection against the ridiculous plans.
    Bradford is a chararcteristic city and the proposals intend to eradicate our past and leave us with nothing but a temporary and non-descript future.
    If you make all the city centres the same what would be the point of going anywhere ?

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