Rivals bidding to create live music venue at disused Bradford Odeon

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RIVAL bidders have submitted their plans to transform the landmark Odeon building in Bradford into a music and events venue.

The two groups, Bradford Live, and Bradford One, yesterday submitted detailed business cases to Bradford Council, owners of the former cinema and bingo hall.

Yesterday’s deadline represented the second stage of an expression of interest process.

Councillors and council officers will assess each case, with a decision expected in November.

If the council believes that neither bid is acceptable, it has reserved the right to demolish the building.

Bidders have been asked to answer key questions about whether there is a market for their proposal and can it pay its way.

Bradford Live, which is fronted by Bradford businessman Lee Craven, wants to recreate the original huge auditorium, making it a venue with a capacity of around 3,500.

The aim is to attract national and international performers.

Mr Craven has personally paid for all the cost of his bid to date, which has involved bringing in a range of people with expertise in running live music venues.

A Bradford Live spokesman said: “Bradford Live does not seek any commercial gain from this project.”

The aim is to establish a registered charity, run by trustees.

Yorkshire-born singer John Newman and Brighouse rock band Embrace have backed the Bradford Live bid.

A rival plan has been put forward by community organisation Bradford One, which wants to create a multi-purpose “sustainable and commercially-run live venue”.