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Council Endorses Major Makeover for Grade II Listed Hippodrome

Plans include a versatile performance space, hotel, retail, and dining, reinvigorating the 127-year-old landmark.

In a landmark decision today, the Brighton & Hove City Council’s Planning Committee has granted approval for the transformation of the iconic Brighton Hippodrome into a vibrant mixed-use development. The ambitious project promises to breathe new life into the 127-year-old Grade II* listed building, which has been closed for too long.

Councillor Liz Loughran, Chair of the Planning Committee, expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “The Hippodrome theatre is a superb historic building that has been shut for too long. The scheme that councillors have approved today will protect and restore its historic features and bring the Hippodrome back into use as another entertainment venue for the city.”

The approved application includes plans to restore the main auditorium into a flexible performance space, capable of hosting a variety of events from musical and theatrical performances to conferences, exhibitions, and weddings. The restoration will pay special attention to the decorative plasterwork and historic fixtures, ensuring that the essence of the Hippodrome’s past glory is preserved.

In addition to the performance space, the development will feature a hotel, retail shop, bar, and members’ club. A new ‘apart-hotel’ extension will provide 62 rooms with views onto Ship Street, complemented by a ground-floor retail unit. The ground floor lobby of the auditorium is set to become a bar/restaurant, opening onto Middle Street and catering to around 100 diners, both indoors and outdoors.

The committee unanimously agreed that the public benefits of restoring and reusing the historic building, in a way that is viable and sustainable, outweigh any potential detriment to the building and local area.

Tom Clarke, representing the Theatres Trust, commented on the proposal without objection but suggested slight revisions. Meanwhile, the developer Matsim has been praised for its dedication to the project, which has been described as a “labour of love.”

With the green light now given, the city eagerly anticipates the revival of the Brighton Hippodrome as a cornerstone of culture and entertainment, promising a brighter future for the beloved landmark.

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