AMBITIOUS plans to turn Colchester’s old Odeon cinema into a huge live music venue have been unveiled by two young entrepreneurs.

Ollie Ward and Tristan Clarke, who opened jazz and blues bar Coda, in High Street, in December, have revealed they have been in discussions with the Crouch Street building’s owners.

The duo believe developer Blumarble, which has planning permission to build 57 apartments at the site, is willing to sell up due to the unviability of its housing proposals.

READ MORE: Colchester old Odeon plans on the rocks as scheme isn't financially viable anymore

The music fans want to take on the historic, grade-II listed building and return it to public use as a live show and music venue which could hold up to 2,000 people.

Gazette: The old Odeon, in Crouch StreetThe old Odeon, in Crouch Street

Speaking at a meeting of Colchester Council’s cabinet on Wednesday the pair asked for the council’s support for the project.

Mr Ward said: “We want to turn it into the largest indoor staged venue in Essex and East Anglia.

“We have spoken to Blumarble about their plans to develop it and they are willing to ditch them and give us a cash price for the building.

“They don’t want to be a partner; they want it off their back and we would like to take it over and do something awesome with it.”

The iconic building, which was built in 1931, has seen live performances from The Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard in the past.

Mr Ward said the duo would retain the building’s original features as part of the plans.

Indoor events like food fairs or craft markets could be held inside the building once it was renovated.

Mr Ward said: “There would be no demolition, the frontage stays, it would just be an internal renovation to bring it back to the glory it was.”

Mr Clarke added: “What Colchester Events Company has done brilliantly is inject 12,000 people into the high street when Tom Jones and Craig David came to Castle Park

“What if you could do that, not 12,000, but roughly 2,000 people on a regular basis every Saturday? That could change the face of the high street for the better.

“Instead of people having to go into London for gigs and having to pay London prices and rail fares we can attract all of East Anglia to come to Colchester.”

Colchester Council has been locked in a battle with Blumarble over the maintenance of the building since its plans stalled last year.

READ MORE: Developer starts works to clean up Colchester's old Odeon

Two section 215 notices have been issued, but only some of the conditions have been complied with.

The firm was ordered to board up all of the windows in the property, block off the front recess of the building, clean and paint the outside walls, remove vegetation and repair or replace any damaged guttering.

Mike Lilley, councillor responsible for communities, wellbeing and public safety, said there had been further issues with the site and the council was considering legal action.

“It is with our officers as to whether we take out a prosecution over the lack of action by the owners,” he said.

“We want to see them comply but we are getting fed up with the amount of time they have been given.”

He added as a music fan himself he would be fully supportive of creating a venue in the premises.

“It would be nice to have something in the town of this type for people,” Mr Lilley said.

“Anything is better than what we have at the moment to be honest.”

Council leader Mark Cory agreed to facilitate a meeting between the relevant cabinet members and the duo to see how the scheme could progress.