If you missed the exhibition…
On Thursday 19th June, the Council invited us to hold an exhibition of our plans in the pavilion in City Park for one day only.
We’ve had many disappointed messages from people who couldn’t make it, so we’ve put together all the information that was available to the public on the day.
Here, for those who couldn’t make it, is everything you missed:
Who are Bradford One?
Bradford One’s plans
Questions and answers
Some of the questions that came up during the day, and our answers to them:
Q: What will the capacity of the venue be?
A: The original capacity of the New Victoria Theatre when it opened in 1930 was 3,318 seats. Modern safety standards, accessibility requirements and public expectations have led our architects to calculate that the maximum capacity is now 2,487 seated and 3,107 with stalls standing.
Q: What kind of events will the venue offer?
A: Bradford One will offer a programme of live music from major touring acts as well as stand-up comedy acts that are not currently visiting Bradford or indeed West Yorkshire. In addition the venue will provide a space for smaller music, comedy, theatre and other performances by making flexible use of the auditorium.
Q: Will the venue be open during the day?
A: Bradford One will be open every day, irrespective of whether an event is taking place in the auditorium. It is essential that this important building, in its prominent location, is open during the day, every day and that if it were only to be open when an event is taking place would be a missed opportunity to give a much needed boost to the city centre economy.
Q: Will the venue be open to the public?
A: Bradford One will be open to the public who will be welcome to use the open spaces provided by the stunning glass façade to meet and enjoy the views over City Park whilst enjoying the food and beverages available from the range of restaurants and café bars serving the venue.
It is essential that the venue be a semi-public space that connects the learning ‘quarter’, formed by the University and College, with City Park and the Bradford Broadway shopping centre. We envisage Bradford One as a year-round indoor space that will complement City Park, providing a space that people will embrace in the same spirit.
Q: Will you have cafes, restaurants and bars in the venue?
A: Bradford One will include restaurants in both the ground floor restaurant space and, on the first floor, in the former ballroom. The first floor restaurant will also serve the atrium space with hot drinks and sandwiches and snacks.
We are in talks with leading restaurant operators who would lease the space from Bradford One and operate each space independently within the building.
Evidence suggests that opening new restaurants in a city centre brings increased business for established businesses and we anticipate that this will be the case in Bradford city centre.
Q: Will the former ballroom be restored?
A: The former ballroom will become the new first floor restaurant and, with the ground floor restaurant, will generate significant additional income to meet the costs of opening the building during the day.
Q: Who will own the building?
A: Bradford One will agree either a long lease for the building with Bradford Council or, if it is their preference, transfer of the asset to Bradford One on behalf of all the people of Bradford. This latter option would include an ‘asset lock’ to prevent the building being sold for profit and to protect the building from any future efforts to demolish it. Bradford One is a democratic organisation open to anyone with an interest in preserving the former Odeon and helping to build a sustainable and economic future.
Q: Will Bradford One make any money out of the redevelopment of the former Odeon building?
A: Bradford One is a Community Benefit Society, which by definition is not-for-profit. Bradford One’s objects are to ‘carry on any business for the benefit of the community by the provision of facilities to develop artistic, cultural, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities within the city of Bradford’.
All profits from Bradford One will be reinvested in support of these objects.
Q: Who will bear the risk of running the venue?
A: Bradford One’s business plan, profit and loss projections, cash flow forecast and balance sheet have all been compiled using conservative assumptions yet, even under the worst-case scenario, continue to forecast a positive cash position. We have also carried out a detailed risk analysis and concluded that our plans are viable and sustainable. With this in mind we confidently predict making profits in excess of £1m per annum, which will be reinvested, in pursuit of our objects.
This is a similar model to the Alhambra Theatre, which employs an expert management team whilst returning significant ‘profits’ to Bradford Council, which retains ownership of the building.
Q: Will there be any parking?
A: Bradford One has discussed its plans in detail with Bradford Council’s planning department and are assured that sufficient parking exists within walking distance of the venue and, with the Broadway development opening in advance of Bradford One, do not anticipate any shortages of suitable and affordable parking.
Q: How has Bradford One managed to afford to get to this stage?
A: Bradford One grew out of the successful ‘Save the Odeon’ campaign and has had to raise every penny spent to date. Our members, who now number almost 500, have each contributed and we have been successful in securing grant funding from the Social Investment Business from funds specifically set up to support community asset projects such as the former Odeon building.