Brighton Hippodrome


Grade II* listed Frank Matcham-designed theatre that Our Brighton Hippodrome wish to restore for live performance.

The Brighton Hippodrome is Grade II* listed, designed in 1901/02 by Frank Matcham and arguably the most important unused theatre in the country. It is number one on The Theatres Trust list of Theatre Buildings At Risk, and is placed on similar lists by English Heritage and Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC).

In 2014 BHCC granted planning approval for conversion to an eight-screen cinema with four restaurants, retail and office space. That scheme has collapsed, the prospective cinema operator has withdrawn and the site is being sold.

Our Brighton Hippodrome has been campaigning for the past year, to raise awareness of the issues, to challenge the planning application and to develop an alternative business proposition, based on full restoration for live performance. In the absence of any other scheme, this becomes the default. However, it needs capital funding. The OBH business plan suggests that it will be commercially viable as one of the most important venues in the south-east region.

Despite this, it remains possible that if a developer were to come forward with an unsuitable scheme, say for major demolition and conversion to retail or residential units, such a proposal would be accepted as 'the last chance to save the building' and the theatre would be lost for ever. The need to complete the OBH business proposition and bring funding into place, preferably with the support of the local authority, is therefore  urgent.