Permission granted to demolish Dudley Hippodrome

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council voted in favour of the demolition of Dudley Hippodrome.

Theatres Trust National Planning Adviser Tom Clarke responds:

Theatres Trust is extremely disappointed in the decision by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to give planning permission for the demolition of the Hippodrome. This is despite our strong objections as our national remit to protect theatres, and a large turnout from the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome and other local supporters.

Dudley Hippodrome has been on our Theatres at Risk Register since 2010 in recognition of the building’s status as an increasingly rare 1930s purpose-built variety theatre with a lavish Art Deco interior and that it had the potential to provide a live performance space that Dudley is lacking.

We believed there was prospect for a viable future for the Hippodrome as a performance venue, reimagining this heritage asset as  a catalyst for growth within the town centre, supporting local businesses.  We made repeated representations to the council to this affect but unfortunately, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has never been willing to seriously explore this idea nor to engage with us fully in our official capacity at a statutory consultee.

This is wasted opportunity and moreover, there are huge environmental implications associated with demolition. In the wake of COP26, this seems even more of a poor decision and conflicts with the council’s own declaration of a climate emergency.

Theatres Trust has requested the Secretary of State calls in this application. This remains the last hope for this iconic building to be saved.