Reconstruction of Odsal Stadium and reopening of Bingley Pool among cash offer plans

Plans to turn Odsal Stadium into ‘a national home for Rugby League’ are among the latest multi-million pound bids for government cash.

A scheme to add commuter services to the Keighley and Worth Valley rail line and another to turn Bingley Pool into a modern leisure center are included in Bradford Council’s latest bids to the Leveling Up fund.

The government fund allows every constituency in the country to bid for funding of up to £20m for welfare, transport, regeneration or cultural projects.

Last year it was announced that the Council’s first bid – a new leisure and wellness center on Squire Lane in Bradford West – had been awarded £20m.

Bradford Council has now officially submitted its bids for the remaining four constituencies in the district.

The stadium would be rebuilt

The most eye-catching of the four offers is that of Bradford South – which will see Odsal Stadium rebuilt as a new “art, culture and entertainment stadium”.

The facility would include a roof, which the Council say will create a “world-class, high-capacity sports, entertainment and training complex” that could help the Bradford Bulls return to the Super League.

It would also allow Bradford to “run high-volume arts and entertainment events”.

If the bid is successful, it would be a huge turnaround for Odsal. In 2019, the club announced that they were leaving the stadium due to high maintenance costs.

The club returned last year.

Heritage Railway could transport commuters again

Keighley’s offer includes the transformation of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – a popular heritage attraction – into “an improved rail transport hub providing workers with a quick and efficient journey to the region”.

The line is currently only used as a tourist attraction, but the successful bid would see commuter trains use the line, which has stations in Oxenhope, Haworth, Oakworth and Cullingworth.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keighley & Worth Valley RailwayKeighley & Worth Valley Railway

Keighley’s bid also includes a plan to partner with private developers to clean up and upgrade six Keighley brownfields around the Commercial development areas at Royd Ings and Dalton Lane. The Council says this will provide 32,000 square meters of retail space with the potential to accommodate over 700 local jobs.

Keighley College and State-of-the-art manufacturing from the University of Bradford the hubs would be reconfigured and expanded to include a high-tech facility supporting research and development in emerging technologies such as advanced robotics as part of the offering.

The closed swimming pool could get a new lease of life

If successful, Shipley’s bid would see Bingley Pool transformed into “an attractive and modern new leisure facility with a six-lane swimming pool, gym, studio and cafe”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bingley Pool before it closedBingley Pool before it closed

The swimming pool, next to Myrtle Park, has been closed by Bradford Council as part of an overhaul of leisure facilities in the district.

READ MORE: £4.25m needed to repair Bingley Pool – Council claims

The application also includes an artistic path which would provide a link to Myrtle Parkand Bingley Town Center could receive a facelift with new landscaping, seating and lighting, and a modern new cover for the town market square.

Health and sports plan for community centers

The bid for Bradford East would involve the development of a new modern health and wellness center offering a wide range of medical services, training and hospitality rooms and sports facilities at the Karmand Center in Barkerend.

The summary Greenwood Center at Wood Lane could be developed into a new facility offering a range of health services, as well as a day care center for the elderly and those with mental health issues. Rehabilitation and weight management programs would be offered and a 24-hour triage room would be created for health emergencies. Counseling on welfare, debt, housing and money management would be provided and spaces would be created for youth and community groups.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Parkside Center to Bowling ParkParkside Center at Bowling Park

New purpose-built sports facilities could be developed in Parkside Center at Bowling Park using a match-funded bid to create a state-of-the-art cricket hall, gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, flexible offices, meeting room and community café.

“Game-Changing Benefits”

Councilor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The District of Bradford represents an incredible opportunity for the government to deliver on its upgrading programme.

“We have worked hard to develop a range of bold offerings designed to unlock our economic potential, create jobs and prosperity, and tackle health deprivation and inequity.

“We are the premier upgrade opportunity in the UK and, if supported, these offers will deliver game-changing benefits to the district and our residents.”

Not all bids are likely to be successful, and the latest round saw a bid for a leisure center in Gipton, Leeds, rejected.

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