Future for Theatre at Risk Derby Hippodrome as a music venue

The operational viability study, commissioned through our Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme, has identified that the theatre building could be used as a music venue.

Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust (DHRT) was awarded a grant of £15,000 to support a detailed study into the operational viability of the Derby Hippodrome through the 2020 round of our Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme.

The DHRT working in conjunction with Derbyshire Historic Building’s Trust appointed consultants Bonnar Keenlyside in November 2020. They have since been undertaking widespread consultation and exploring the long and short term possibilities for the site, assessing how the Hippodrome fits within the cultural, social and economic needs of the city of Derby.

Theatres Trust is pleased that the report has identified an exciting new plan and direction for the Hippodrome as a live music venue of a size currently missing from Derby’s cultural landscape. This would provide a viable use for the Hippodrome and at the same time protect this fantastic building for future generations.

As with many Theatres at Risk projects, the report also suggests a phased approach to restoring the building, creating offices, workshops, a café before it becomes a permanent music venue.

Derby Hippodrome Partnership, led by the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and including Derby City Council, Historic England, Derby University, the DHRT and Theatres Trust, will play a key role in taking forward the recommendations within the report. The backing of these key stakeholders in the redevelopment of the Hippodrome is pivotal in progressing the project and bringing new life to the building which has lain empty for over a decade.

Derby Hippodrome has been on our Theatres at Risk Register since the list began in 2006. It is a large Grade II listed variety theatre built in 1914 and a rare survival from an early stage in the crossover period when buildings were being constructed for both live theatre and cinema.

Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme in 2020 was supported by Historic England, The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust.