Great Britain

CORONAVIRUS: Work continues on two key Bradford projects

WORK is continuing on two of Bradford's biggest regeneration projects, despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Those behind the restoration of Bradford's Odeon building, which is being turned into live music venue Bradford Live, are currently finalising the detailed designs and work is still expected to begin on site later this year.

Meanwhile work is continuing, with social distancing measures in place, at Priestley Construction's transformation of the historic Conditioning House.

The firm is currently in the process of turning the Grade II listed mill into into 133 apartments, luxury offices, a gym and a café.

Nathan Priestley, chief executive officer of Priestley Construction, told the Telegraph & Argus: "At Priestley Construction, we're keen to stay positive in the face of coronavirus. As we know, construction is one of the most heavily protected and regulated industries when it comes to health and safety. To keep our teams safe, we have imposed strict measures across all of our sites nationwide - including our flagship Bradford-based project, Conditioning House.

"We'll keep pushing on with delivery so long as we’re able to and it can be done in a safe, controlled environment, with social distancing in place. On our Conditioning House project, we're seeing brilliant progress, and still aim to complete in Q4 this year."

Lee Craven, of Bradford Live, which is turning the 1930s former cinema building into a live music venue, added of his project: "While it is of course difficult to predict the extent and possible disruption caused by this viral outbreak, we are hopeful that not too much time will be lost.

"We’re finalising the detailed design at present, with the design team working remotely. It’s a complicated building that has thrown up many challenges, which is why we are checking, double checking and triple checking the detailed engineering design now to avoid or minimise any problems once on site.

"We are fortunate in that there is no physical work currently taking place; if there had been, we would probably have had to stop in the circumstances.

"We’re planning to tender the main contract in the summer, and once that starts, there’s no stopping until the venue opens!"

The main work was expected to start towards the middle of this year once a contractor had been appointed. Bradford Live is then scheduled to open as an NEC-run 3,800 capacity live music venue in 2021.

Mr Priestley added that despite the lockdown they had seen an increase in sales queries for the apartments at Conditioning House from both UK and international buyers.

"It's not what we anticipated, especially from UK buyers, but a lot of our customers and clients are dedicated to pursuing business as usual. People are working from home, but the UK hasn't ground to a halt; people are still ready to make investments, despite these strange times."

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