Friends of Dudley Hippodrome launch new bid to save the venue

A new 'steering group' has submitted a last minute business case to Dudley Council to try and save the derelict venue from bulldozers.

Campaigners who support the 'Friends of Dudley Hippodrome' group have presented a proposal to council chiefs after creating a new steering committee to try and halt plans to demolish the Castle hill building.

They say the move will draw together more expert advice to tailor their proposals. They were originally given until the end of December to put a 'realistic package' together to take over the running of the historic theatre.

Dudley Council wants to knock down the landmark building ‘at the earliest opportunity’. Officials say that, although a number of proposals have been submitted in recent months, no single business plan has been deemed viable with most having a chance of the need for Council involvement at some point.

Councillor Pete Lowe, speaking on Black Country Radio in 2015, said that Dudley Council simply has "no budget to get involved in the running of the theatre

"After independent scrutiny by a professional third party, we couldn't find a submission that we felt would remove all risk of us needing to step in. I'd love the theatre to be saved as part of the area's heritage but we need to be objective about it."

Gordon Downing, from the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome, has also joined the group which is co-ordinated by businessman Dave Mundon. They have now submitted a fresh business plans and hope to receive feedback on the scheme now officials are back following New Year holiday.

Further details have yet to be released on the contents of the new business plan although it is thought to deal with the day-to-day costs of the theatre - something the original plan submitted by the Friends of the Hippodrome fell short on. The group have committed to provide a more detailed plan should the council approve this first stage.


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