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Plans to transform Bradford Odeon on show at "Big Gig"

Bradford Odeon Photo:

Community group Bradford One will unveil the first drafts of architects’ plans to transform Bradford Odeon into a music venue, at a special all-day concert in City Park today.

The plans are for a music venue, retail space, restaurants, cafes and bars, and a new office building on the back of the original 1930s structure.

The Bradford Odeon – formerly the New Victoria and the Gaumont – was a high-profile concert venue that hosted several Beatles concerts, later becoming a cinema. It has been closed since 2000 and has been the subject of a campaign to save it from demolition ever since.

The Odeon has been granted a temporary reprieve, and Government money has been set aside to make remedial repairs while the local Council appeal to potential bidders to draw up plans for refurbishment. Bradford One is one of two bids that have been unveiled so far, along with Bradford Live, with both calling for the building to become a music venue.

The "Big Gig" is a national event that aims to encourage participation in music by asking people all over the UK to stage concerts in their communities between the July 11 and July 14.

Bands who will play at today's gig, held between 12 noon and 8pm, include Bradford drum and bass brother and sister duo La La & the Boo Ya, signed to Congo Natty Records, who will headline the event. One of their songs, Old Vicky, is about the Odeon itself.