Theatres Trust response to Brighton Hippodrome sale
Theatres Trust understands that Brighton Hippodrome has been sold to local developer Matsim Properties.
The building which is vacant and seriously deteriorating has been on our Theatres At Risk register since 2006 when we first started the list. The Trust hopes that the sale means there can finally be some positive progress for this unique and important city-centre theatre. Following the previous sale in 2017, there has been very little progress and further serious deterioration to the building.
We have been in touch with the new owners to urge them and Brighton and Hove City Council to act quickly to ensure essential, urgent repairs are undertaken immediately to avoid irreparable further decay to the Grade II* listed building. We also encouraged the new owners to work with local campaign group Brighton Hippodrome CIC to explore their significantly developed and viable proposals for the Hippodrome to return to large-scale live performance use, alongside sympathetic enabling development which will help regenerate the South Lanes area.
It is positive to hear that Matsim is taking its responsibility as a custodian of the Grade II* listed building seriously and is starting to carry out much needed substantive repair works. However, until these works are complete there remains a real danger of irretrievable loss of the heritage fabric of this unique and architecturally significant circus theatre. We have seen previous owners fail to halt the decay. Authorisation by the council to issue an Urgent Works Notice is an important failsafe which will be used only should there be any delay or lack of progress in carrying out these essential works.