Council move to overturn covenants ahead of Hippodrome demolition

Dudley Council have seemingly given the green light for the former Dudley Hippodrome's demolition at a cabinet meeting last week.

The attendees rubber-stamped a number of procedural steps including challenging restrictive covenants on the Castle Hill site and adjoining land previously occupied by the Plaza Cinema, placed by the Kennedy family, who ran the theatre for more than 20 years.

It restricts the use of either site for anything other than entertainment, housing or retail purposes. These would need to be overturned in order for the proposed redeveloped as a university centre with the help of a £25 million grant from the Government's Towns Fund. After seeking independent legal advice, the council are confident that the restrictions can be lifted.

After the meeting, campaigners from the Dudley Hippodrome Friends and Community Group said they were disappointed with the outcome following a hard fought battle to reopen the theatre for performances and community projects. Speaking to the Express and Star, Lisa Kimber, of the group, said:

""We were promised a feasibility study by the council last year, but that has not happened. The college centre is not going to benefit residents.

"What Dudley needs is a theatre to generate a night economy - some towns have lots of theatres. We have none."

The campus development scheme, funded by the £25 million Towns Fund cash pot awarded to Dudley Council, will oversee a nursing college run by the University of Worcester. It is expected to be up and running by the 2024 academic year.


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