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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 11:23 UK
'Facelift' call for Bradford's former Odeon cinema
Odeon Cinema, Bradford
Bradford's landmark Odeon cinema closed its doors in 2000

Calls are being made for Bradford's dilapidated former Odeon cinema to be revamped before the opening of the prestigious City Park in 2011.

The derelict Odeon overlooks the site of the City Park - an urban green space being built in the heart of Bradford.

Anne Hawksworth, leader of Bradford Council's Conservative group, is calling on regional development agency Yorkshire Forward to take action.

She says: "With the cinema, the city centre park is overshadowed."

Councillor Hawksworth says she hopes Yorkshire Forward, who own the former Odeon site, will endeavour to spruce up the building whose landmark facade has been left virtually untouched since the cinema closed its doors in 2000.

She says: "You stand on one side of Centenary Square and look over to where the police station has been demolished and consider that is going to be the flagship, the City Park, and you look and see the Alhambra and then you see the sad sight of the Odeon.

"Yorkshire Forward need to do something about the landscape. It is not acceptable the way it is.

"I would like to see the two towers cleared and then between the two towers something should be done.

"In an ideal world, we could retain the silhouette.

The current situation is just not acceptable.
Anne Hawksworth, Bradford Council leader

"I'm in the office that faces the Odeon and it jumps out at me. In the state that it is, something has to be done.

"A tremendous amount of money has been spent to produce something of quality in Centenary Square.

"The current situation is just not acceptable.

Cllr Hawksworth says measures have to be taken, even if they are temporary.

She says: "If you're thinking about something iconic then you can't get anything more than that [the former Odeon] in Bradford. But it needs a facelift."

David Custance, assistant director of environment at Yorkshire Forward, says he agrees with the points Cllr Hawksworth raises but he explains the situation is complex.

He says: "We take health and safety very, very seriously and our first responsibility is to keep the building in such a state that it doesn't pose a risk.

"We accept that the building does need a small facelift. Because of the redevelopment proposals with our joint venture partner, they are proposing to demolish the Odeon and redevelop the site with exciting plans for Bradford.

"But, saying that, we understand Cllr Hawskworth's concerns about its appearance and we have been looking at what we can do ourselves.

"We are looking at various proposals of what we can do, but they need to be in line with future plans.

"The plans have been stalled in the past because of the recession but we do understand the concerns and are looking at proposals ourselves at Yorkshire Forward."




SEE ALSO
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Protesters 'hug' historic cinema
14 Jul 07 |  Bradford


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