Asbestos removal next stage in plans to revive Bradford Odeon

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Work is due to begin to remove asbestos from Bradford’s former Odeon Cinema building on Monday.

The work follows routine health and safety inspections by Bradford Council since it acquired the property.

Ownership of the building was transferred from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to Bradford Council in November last year for the sum of £1, on the agreement the HCA would provide up to £1.32m of funding to address health and safety issues on site.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Bradford Council has appointed a specialist contractor to remove some of the remaining asbestos in the building so that the redundant furniture and carpets can be cleared out of the property.

“The majority of the asbestos was previously removed under the HCA’s ownership but further asbestos was found by the council’s asbestos team in rooms that were boarded up.

“Consultants have also been appointed to design the remedial works required in the two domes at the front of the property and the repairs required to the Bradford Beck culvert that runs through the site. These works will be paid for out of the HCA’s funding.”

Earlier this year the council revealed that three rival groups bidding to breathe new life into the run-down former cinema building had submitted their proposals.

The local authority is hoping to sell the landmark to a developer but has said it will not provide any money towards refurbishment or redevelopment. One proposal was to create a live music venue, a second was for a multi-purpose cultural and enterprise centre and the third was for a swimming, diving, athletic and multi-sport facility.

Those bids reaching the next stage are due to be announced this month.