Hood: Odsal plans still on track

Plans to develop Odsal are still on course according to Bradford chairman Peter Hood, contrary to press reports earlier this week.

It was reported that the ambitious £75m Odsal Sports Village scheme was set to collapse due to issues with funding.

However, Hood has dismissed this in a statement issued by the club, whilst also admitting that the time-scale of delivering the project may be longer than originally anticipated.

“The Odsal Sports Village partners – Bradford Council, Bradford College, Bradford Bulls, the University of Bradford, Yorkshire Forward and the Bradford & Airedale NHS Trust – are precisely where we expected to be in the process at this point in time.

“The leaked Report to the Council’s Executive explains that the OSV, in the form of the so-called £75m ‘compliant’ scheme, could still be delivered – but only if it becomes developer-led.

“In other words, to be delivered in its ‘compliant’ form that provides everything that each of the partners wants the OSV project needs private sector involvement a) to bring additional up-front funding to the scheme and b) to shoulder some of the financial risk. That was always likely to be the case and is no surprise at all.

“The Report goes on to outline half a dozen scaled-down versions of the compliant scheme that might be built without the private sector, ranging in cost between £20 million and £40 million or so. That kind of money buys a lot of stadium and sports and leisure, educational and other facilities through which to deliver massive benefits for people right across the Bradford district.”

The report, leaked earlier this week, goes before Bradford Council’s Executive on Tuesday March 30.

Phil Barker, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director Leisure Services and the Council’s lead officer on the OSV, told BBC Radio Leeds: “I think we have to look at all options if I’m honest, but I think some of the options are not going to deliver all of the partners’ ambitions.

“Therefore we’ll have to see whether we move to any of those, but at the moment I think we are still trying to put together a project which delivers the outputs that all the partners want and is in the region of the compliant scheme outputs.

“Whether it costs us £75m that’s a different thing, but if we can deliver what the partners want, deliver all of the outputs, the space they need for all of the groups they’re trying to provide service for, then I think that’s where we’re going at this moment in time.”

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