Restoring one of Brighton's most treasured buildings will cost more than £9 million.

The Theatre’s Trust has added The Hippodrome in Middle Street to the 2010 list of buildings that needs special attention.

The Grade II* former ice rink, circus, theatre and bingo hall has been empty since 2007.

The Academy Music Group wants to turn it into Brighton’s main live music venue but the bill to renovate it is expected to top £9 million.

Mark Price, planning and heritage advisor for The Theatre’s Trust, said: “We want to highlight the plight of the Hippodrome.

“It has been vacant for some time and the plaster work inside is now falling off. I know the leaseholders are working to repair it but it is a difficult project.”

The building is being leased from Cheval Properties to the Academy Music Group that runs venues such as the Brixton Academy in London.

A spokesman for the Trust said restoring it as a music venue would be very costly.

He said: “There are sound containment issues. It will be very expensive to create the acoustic shell needed to stop noise disturbing residents.

There are residential properties all down one side of the street. But we do think Academy Music Group are the best people for the job.”

Terry Carnes, UK property services director for Live Nation, which is working with AMG on the Hippodrome, said that so far £500,000 had been spent investigating howit could be turned into a music venue.

He said: “Simply making it soundproofed would cost an estimated £3 million and in total we would expect the project to cost around £9.5 million.

“We are only in the early stages at the moment but we would like to be the company that pulls it off.”