Theatres Trust 'dismayed' at decision over Dudley Hippodrome

Bosses at the Theatres Trust have expressed their dismay after the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will not intervene in Dudley Council's decision to demolish Dudley Hippodrome.

Members of Dudley Council's Development Control Committee voted in favour of demolishing the building to make way for a new university-style campus, in November, however earlier this year a request was submitted to the Secretary of State to consider whether the application should be determined by their department.

Theatres Trust supported the local campaign group’s application to have the building listed, which includes new photographic evidence of the existence of features previously thought lost. However it appears the final door has closed in the campaign to save the venue which has stood on its current site in Castle Hill since 1938.

The suggestion was the the theatre could be returned to regular use hosting a mix of touring productions as well as self-produced shows and local dramatic groups. A spokesperson for the Trust said:

"Theatres Trust is extremely disappointed by the news that the decision to demolish Dudley Hippodrome will not be called in by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. This is another devastating blow for the future of Dudley Hippodrome.

"This is despite the compelling representations we have made to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council since the Hippodrome was added to our Theatres at Risk list in 2010, and the strong local support to save and reuse this unique building.

"By demolishing the Hippodrome, Dudley is losing an iconic building - an increasingly rare example of a 1930s purpose-built variety theatre, which even features in the council’s own logo.

"But more than that, this is a wasted opportunity to provide the type of live performance space that Dudley is lacking, which could be a catalyst for growth in the town, and its demolition has huge environmental implications."


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