A major restoration of one of Brighton’s most loved buildings could move a step closer this year.

Live Nation confirmed yesterday (February 24) it hopes to submit a planning application to turn The Hippodrome in Middle Street into one of the city’s main live music venues.

The proposal, which will cost more than £9 million, would see the 105-year-old Grade II* listed building transformed into a 2,000-capacity live music venue.

Terry Carnes, Live Nation UK’s property services director, said Brighton and Hove was “crying out” for a new space to see bands and comedy.

Mr Carnes said if they were not so passionate about the project the technical and cost difficulties could have seen them walk away.

Discussions ongoing The company has already spent a six-figure sum on structural, mechanical and acoustic engineering surveys.

Needed for Brighton

Mr Carnes said: “Without a shadow of a doubt this is needed for Brighton. If this was not of significant interest we would have left it by now.

“We want to be in Brighton.”

The Hippodrome was built in 1897 but has stood empty since 2007.

It has been used as an ice rink, a circus and a bingo hall, but most famously played host to The Beatles.

Mr Carnes said he has recently met with |officers from Brighton and Hove City Council, who are giving advice on planning and licensing issues.

He said if the proposals progress smoothly they are hoping to submit a planning application this year.

He said: “We have got to develop it sympathetically. The architect has produced more designs.”

Council leader Bill Randall said discussions with Live Nation were ongoing.

He added: “We would like to see this iconic building brought back into use.

"But we would emphasise that there are both licensing and planning issues which would have to be overcome if Live Nation’s vision for the building is to become reality.”

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