The Hippodrome has topped the list of most at-risk theatres in the country.

The former theatre in Middle Street, Brighton, has been named on the Theatres at Risk Register for 2024, where it scored highest in all the categories being assessed.

The Hippodrome, which also previously served as an ice rink, circus and bingo hall, has been on the register since 2006, despite plans to restore and renovate the venue.

During its heyday, the venue hosted a range of acts, including The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The Theatres Trust, which compiles the annual register, said that the Hippodrome is the “finest surviving example of its type in the country”.

A spokesman for the trust said the Hippodrome’s historic fabric is “at risk of severe deterioration”.

He said: “Theatres Trust’s preferred use for the Hippodrome would be a development that remains sensitive to the possible future reinstatement of the theatre as a large-scale venue for performance.”

However, the trust is concerned about proposals by developer Matsim to turn the venue into a multi-purpose venue and said: “The plans would prevent the theatre ever returning as a large-scale venue. If permitted, there is a real concern that these untested plans could potentially threaten the future viability and use of the Hippodrome as a performance space.”

Now in its 18th year, the Theatres at Risk Registers calls to the public’s attention to important buildings, their challenges, and the significant cultural opportunities they can bring to local communities.

Since the list began in 2006, more than 80 theatres have been restored, revived or had a suitable replacement built.

Gary Kemp, Theatres Trust ambassador, said: “Theatres are an essential part of our cultural life and bring so much to communities everywhere.

“I am proud to support Theatres Trust in its mission to ensure these wonderful buildings survive for current and future generations to enjoy.”

A petition by the Save Our Hippodrome campaign group calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to approve the planning application to renovate the Hippodrome has now attracted more than 1,900 signatures.