Developers have revealed £18 million plans to revamp a historic entertainment venue that once played host to The Beatles.

The Grade II* listed Hippodrome, in Middle Street, Brighton, has been empty since 2007.

After lengthy discussions, Alaska Development Consultants has revealed plans to transform the Victorian venue into an eight screen cinema.

The proposal will see the building integrated with nearby Dukes Lane shopping arcade with the creation of up to five new shops and a public square.

Chris Moore, the development manager for Alaska, said: “We feel privileged to restore this much-loved and threatened landmark, securing its future and presence in the city for many years to come.

“The building has a fantastically rich and varied history and our vision is to write the next chapter of its ever-changing story.

“This unique restoration project will revitalise a popular tourist attraction for the city whilst creating hundreds of much needed jobs, both in the construction phase and its operation when complete.”

The Hippodrome, which was built in 1897, is currently leased to Academy Music Group.

At risk list

It has been used as an ice rink, a circus and a bingo hall, but most famously played host to The Beatles.

It has since been placed on the “at risk” list of buildings which need urgent work.

Last year Live Nation said they were in discussions to turn it into a 2,000-capacity live music venue.

The latest plans by Brighton-based Russ Drage Architects are to be submitted on behalf of an investment client of Helix Property Advisors.

Discussions have already been held with Brighton and Hove City Council about the proposal.

'Amazing opportunity'

Geoffrey Bowden, the council’s economic development committee chairman, said he thought it could be an “amazing opportunity”.

He said: “It’s in need of some TLC but it will be great addition to the city if we can bring it back into use.

“Having an empty property like that deteriorating is not something the city should really be putting up with.”

Alaska confirmed it was in detailed discussions with Vue Entertainment for the cinema space.

Talks have also commenced with leading restaurant groups to take over a new space created beneath the Hippodrome’s dome.

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