A decision on the future of Brighton’s Hippodrome is set to be made soon.

Developers Matsim have already spent upwards of £5 million repairing the Hippodrome, in Middle Street, with hopes of seeing the historic venue host artists once again.

A licence to sell alcohol on the premises has already been granted but planning officers are yet to give the green light for the next stages of the build.

Two applications have been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council and include the renovation of the auditorium as performance space with a bar and café, a new three to seven-storey apart-hotel building in the rear service yard with retail at ground level, and conversion of the existing fly tower to create additional rehearsal and performance space.

The are also plans to convert the adjacent Hippodrome House to provide a bar and members club.

And the wait for answers will soon be over, as the city council has confirmed this afternoon that planning officers will decide the outcome of the planning applications in October or early November.

The Argus: Above the stage at the HippodromeAbove the stage at the Hippodrome (Image: The Argus)

Councillor Birgit Miller, culture lead and Goldsmid ward councillor, said: “The Hippodrome is a nationally important listed building and it’s a great shame that it has been closed for so long.

“Its renovation and development would have a lasting significance for the building and for the city.

“Planning proposals dealing with such a historic building are very complex. Statutory consultees such as Historic England and National Highways need to be satisfied with the proposals and our planning committee has to have all the information it needs to be sure that the proposals will provide lasting benefits while being considerate to the people who live around it.

“At this stage some key information remains outstanding and is required for the planning applications to be decided. We are working with the developers on this and hope the applications will be heard at planning committee in the next few months.”

Amendments to the scheme were received in November 2022 and again in February and March of 2023.

The apart-hotel has been reduced at the rear of the site and the offices originally proposed for the Hippodrome’s rear fly tower removed to be replaced with the rehearsal space.

The key planning considerations are the impact on the historic building in a conservation area, the impact on residents, highways matters and operational viability, the city council says.

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In a show of support for the Hippodrome, hundreds of people have so far completed a questionnaire which will be presented to the city council.

Members of the public have filled the Hippodrome over a number of open days at the venue, catching a glimpse of the beautiful new roof renovations and taking time to fill in the questionnaire, which is also available online.

It comes after The Argus revealed last year that Hove DJ Fatboy Slim said he wants to be the first one to play at the venue when it opens.