Odeon in ‘reasonable and sound’ condition – ownership decision to be made soon

Following the results of a full structural survey by engineering consultants WYG, the Odeon has today been declared to be in ‘reasonable and sound’ condition.

This is fantastic news, and confirms what we have hoped and believed for many years.

The next step will be for Bradford Council to decide at the next Executive meeting whether to accept the Odeon for £1.

The offer, which was made by the Homes and Communities Agency, will be discussed and decided at the Council meeting in the coming weeks.

The leader of Bradford Council has been quoted as saying that the final decision is dependent on a package of funding estimated at over £4million being provided by the Homes and Communities Agency, whose have yet to agree to this amount.

When the original offer of £1 was made to the Council, a package of just £100,000 for upkeep was offered by the Homes and Communities Agency, which the Council asked to be increased before they would consider accepting.

This would likely see the transfer of both the former Odeon site and the half demolished Tyrls police station to the Council, pending redevelopment proposals.

Of the estimated sum being asked for, around a quarter of this is expected to be earmarked for ongoing repairs to the building structure whilst this process takes place.

It’s not possible to preempt the Council’s decision to take stewardship of the Odeon as yet, as the meeting of the Executive is an important part of the Council’s democratic process. As we have seen with the Odeon’s history, it isn’t always easy to predict the future.

If the Odeon is transfered to the Council, the Council have indicated that they will consider an asset transfer to the community provided the plans brought forward can be shown to be viable.

As a result of the work done over the last 6 months by Bradford One, alongside a number of professional bodies and business consultants, we are legally capable of applying for asset transfer in this way and plan to present outline plans within the timescale specified.

The deadline for proposals has been extended in order to give all interested parties more time to complete their plans ready to present to the Council. Their structural survey of the building has now been completed and will be circulated publicly.

Other than that change, the process is likely to be the same as indicated in their last report. The final decision on whether to accept the Odeon for £1 will be made by the council Executive as was recommended at the last Overview and Scrutiny Committee which took place at the end of January.

We’re hopeful that the finish line of this particular chapter is now in sight, and that the Council will accept the offer.

If the building does go into the ownership of the council next week, it takes our plans for the redevelopment of the site and its directly democratic ownership by the people of Bradford one tentative step closer.

Update: The full report and summary of the structural survey can be downloaded from the Bradford Council website by clicking this link

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Bradford One March 5, 2013 Latest News