A DEVELOPER has revealed its plans for a historic auditorium and when it could be up and running.

The Matsim Group has told of its plans for the Brighton Hippodrome as the restoration continues.

The group bought the Grade II* listed building in October 2020 with plans to have it reopened as a live performance venue.

The Argus was invited on a tour of the Hippodrome, which was originally built in 1897, to see how the process is coming along.

Simon Lambor, of Matsim, said: "Taking on a project like this you just feel the commitment to see it through.

"We're confident and committed. We're going to a lot of work to save the building and we hope it will look after itself after the work is done."

The Argus: New panel colour example inside the HippodromeNew panel colour example inside the Hippodrome

Restoration of the auditorium took a major step forward when the owners replaced the rotting roof with a new structure in October.

Pictures show the entire ground floor shrouded in scaffolding to help support the old fashioned building to allow reparations to take place.

Matsim has invested more than £1 million into slowing the building’s decline and is looking at investing a further £10 million into the second stage.

There is still a long way to go but the plans are moving forward, with the next major step being to replace the plaster work.

Simon says there is an even greater time pressure as parts of the structure are not likely to hold for much longer, such as the ceiling.

He says that Matsim is hoping to be able to open the building to the public in 2024, but that is "should everything go to plan".

In its nearly 125 year history, the Brighton Hippodrome has had a number of different lives, such as as a theatre, a music hall, a circus and a bingo hall.

The Argus: Former elephant entrance to the hippodromeFormer elephant entrance to the hippodrome

It has also seen huge names such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles perform, as well as Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini.

It has fallen into disrepair in recent years and has been sat unused in Middle Street, Brighton, since 2007.

Simon has told The Argus of the company's plans to turn the building into a multifunctional space.

It hopes to combine all of the past lives and have different events on for different nights of the week, making it a one-stop-shop for live entertainment in the city.

Simon also says that they hope it can host activities such as pilates in the evenings, as well as a wide range of food and drinks options in a Box Park style foodhall.

He said: "The building has been closed for so long we want to Brighton public to be able to use it as much as possible.

"Obviously it's not much to look at right now with the scaffolding, but honestly it's an incredible space.

"It's got such a varied history, we want it to be a bit of everything. Flexibility is what we're aiming for."

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