BRIGHTON-LOVER and hit DJ Fatboy Slim has praised the restoration work of a dilapidated venue to bring it back to life.

In an open letter, Norman Cook said that he is excited to see work begin on transforming the Hippodrome in Middle Street, Brighton back into a functioning venue.

As revealed in The Argus, the Hove DJ has confirmed he is interested in being the first to play the venue when it opens on November 22, 2024.

“For so many years we Brightonians have wandered past its crumbling façade, wondering what state it is in and whether it will ever be open again, and quietly praying that one day the wrecking ball of development wouldn't swing and convert it into bland cosmopolitan flats,” he said.

“Part of Brighton's appeal, both to visitors and its residents, is our unique history from Regency and Victorian times but to keep the character of the city it is essential that we preserve even the more recent history.

The Argus: An aerial shot showing the Hippodrome's new roofAn aerial shot showing the Hippodrome's new roof

“The Hippodrome represents a potentially stunning reminder of the role of vaudeville and variety in our rich history, not to mention elephant based circus theatre. All this is before we even get on to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.”

On a recent trip to the venue, The Argus saw the work being done to restore it.

Workers were seen installing gold trim to the intricate designs which adorn the dome roof windows, as project managers ensure that every possible original feature is carefully restored.

“It is remarkable that most of the structural beauty of the building is in recoverable shape as well as it's memories,” said Norman.

“I am not alone as a Brighton resident in being thankful and relieved that it is being lovingly restored rather than bulldozed. It will be another asset and living, breathing museum to our colourful past.

The Argus: Fatboy Slim recently unveiled Albion's new kitFatboy Slim recently unveiled Albion's new kit

“Congratulations to the developers for deciding to preserve this wonderful building and breathe new life into it, and to the council for recognising that special parts of our city are worth preserve.”

The Matsim group bought the building in October 2020, and plan to reopen it as a multi-use live event venue.

Built in 1897, the site has changed uses many times across the years – and it is hoped the Hippodrome will finally reopen in 2024.