John Peel arts centre proposed for Bradford

Former cinema and venue looks to host the Peel archive and support emerging northern music.


Words by: Charlie Jones

A group battling to save a former cinema and performance venue in Bradford from demolition is hoping to transform the building into a centre for music and art under the John Peel banner. Plans include a 1,500 capacity venue for experimental and emerging acts, a museum dedicated to the music scene in the north and a listening room to house the John Peel online archive. Halliday Clark Architects are assigned to the project, and funding will come from Arts Council and Lottery bodies.

Kate Wellham, the group’s representative, said that the emphasis would be on emerging music, with active support for local labels and bands and fanzines part of the deal, and a broadcast centre for local radio stations, in “the spirit of John Peel”, who met his Saltaire-dwelling wife in Bradford, shot numerous documentaries about the city’s music scene and has an honorary degree from the local university.

Anyone wishing to support the project can do so by visiting