Leeds & West Yorkshire

Former Bradford Odeon building sold for £1

Odeon in Bradford
Image caption A campaign has been under way to save the site of the Bradford Odeon since it closed in 2000

The sale of a former cinema and concert hall to Bradford Council for £1 has been completed.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said it had transferred ownership of the landmark city centre Odeon cinema back to the council.

The 1930s venue, which played host to acts including The Beatles, has been derelict since it closed in 2000.

Bradford Council said it was now inviting bids for "commercially viable" ideas to save the building.

The nearby site of the former police station in The Tyrls has also been transferred back to council ownership, the HCA said.

The agency said it had provided £3.5m funding to the council to prepare both sites for development.

'Sustainable future'

The former Odeon building was bought in 2003 by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which later entered into a development agreement with Langtree Artisan.

That agreement, which would have seen the demolition of the building, was scrapped in September 2012 after the HCA took over the Odeon site following the abolition of Yorkshire Forward.

David Green, Bradford Council's leader, said plans for the "regeneration and transformation" of the city centre could now go ahead.

"Acquiring the former Odeon means we can now examine commercially viable ideas to save the building which many have fought to keep over the last decade while it has stood empty.

"It has always been our policy to find a sustainable future for the Odeon."

Several ideas for the future of the site have previously been put forward, including turning it into an arts centre or music venue.

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