THE BRIGHTON Hippodrome is on a list of 31 venues at significant or immediate risk of being lost as the Covid-19 pandemic has a “devastating” impact on the UK theatre industry.

The Theatres Trust, which put the list together, has seen an “emerging trend” during the coronavirus crisis where vacant theatre buildings put up for sale by private owners.

The Brighton Hippodrome is just one of the venues on the list to be put up for sale in the second half of last year.

In September, The Argus reported that the Middle Street venue had been sold to the Lambor family, who run Matsim Properties in Brighton.

READ MORE: Family firm buy historic venue with plans to restore its auditorium

The Theatre's Trust, the national advisory public body for theatre, said it “hopes for constructive collaboration with all owners to secure a positive future for these important theatres”.

Musician and actor Gary Kemp, who is a trustee for Theatres Trust, said: “As a performer I know how vital theatre buildings are, adding immeasurably to the atmosphere of a show, whether it is music or drama.

“Every building on the Theatres at Risk list is part of the UK’s cultural and social heritage, but each also holds a special position in their community and with the right support could once more be central to a sense of local pride.”

The Argus: Gary Kemp is best known for his band Spandau BalletGary Kemp is best known for his band Spandau Ballet

Only one venue has been added in 2021 to the organisation's Theatres at Risk Register, which is published annually.

The Co-op Music Hall in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, was new addition to the list this year.

The Theatres Trust said that despite the pandemic “relatively few theatre operators have ceased trading and fortunately none of the buildings left empty look to be in imminent danger”.

The list also included Liverpool’s Garston Empire, Salford Victoria in Greater Manchester and Theatr Ardudwy in Harlech, Wales, which also went on the market last year.

Other theatres featured on the list, which is in its 14th year, include the Streatham Hill Theatre in south London, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Pavilion, the Burnley Empire in Lancashire and Dundee’s King’s Theatre.

Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan said: “This past year has shown that communities value places where they can come together and that audiences miss live performances.

“While the theatre sector still has challenging days ahead, Theatres Trust believes that theatre will come back stronger than ever and that each building on the Theatres at Risk list has real potential to be a valuable asset to its community, to bring much needed footfall to its town centre and spark regeneration of its area as part of the recovery post-Covid.

READ MORE: Look inside Brighton Hippodrome as new owners reveal plans for site

The Brighton Hippodrome was built as an ice rink in 1897.

In 1901 it was converted into a circus, designed by renowned architect Frank Matcham, before being redesigned again as a theatre the following year by Bertie Crewe.

The Hippodrome has played host to a variety of stars, including illusionist Harry Houdini, comedians Laurel and Hardy, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The venue was forced to close due to financial difficulties in 1964 and was reopened as a Mecca Bingo hall in 1967, before closing again in 2006.

The Grade II-listed building, which was previously owned by Hipp Investments, has not been used since 2006.

The new owners have committed to saving the building from further deterioration and have plans to restore the auditorium.