Derby Hippodrome - Must Be Saved!

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Hippo News
Derby's Hippodrome can be saved, if there is a will - Derby Telegraph 09/10/15
Derby's Hippo must be preserved - Derby Telegraph 04/10/15
Shocking new pictures of Derby's devastated Hippodrome, as building gets new owner - Derby Telegraph 28/09/15
Trust makes bid for Heritage Lottery cash to help draw business plan - Derby Telegraph 17/04/15
Hippodrome hosted stars like Morecambe and Wise, Norman Wisdom and Flanagan and Allen - Derby Telegraph 10/04/15
Derek Latham's is a voice that deserves still to be heard - Derby Telegraph 06/04/15
Trust makes bid for Heritage Lottery cash to help draw business plan - Derby Telegraph 17/03/15
New owner in the pipeline but future of crumbling ex-theatre still unclear - Derby Telegraph 28/01/15
Time is Crucial Factor in debate on fate of Assembly Rooms - Derby Telegraph 14/10/14
Derby has potential, use older buildings to regenerate city - Derby Telegraph 13/10/14
Derby Hippodrome's Revamp Plans set for go-ahead from city council - Derby Telegraph 09/10/14
Derby Hippodrome centenary celebration planned – Derby Telegraph 07/07/14
Symphony hall 'not right choice' for Derby's Hippodrome - Derby Telegraph 06/06/14
First plans revealed for revamped Derby Hippodrome - Derby Telegraph - 05/06/14
Derby Hippodrome rebuild case "stronger" in wake of Assembly Rooms fire - Derby Telegraph - 10/05/14
Save Hippodrome to return its part of Derby to former glory - Derby Telegraph - 23/04/14
DHRT submit planning permission - We have submitted an outline planning application to rebuild the front of house on Green Lane as a cafe, offices and meeting spaces on four floors plus roofing over the auditorium and stage house. - April 2014
Derby Hippodrome: Council hints at compulsory purchase - BBC - 11/04/14
Derby's Green Lane: Are chinks of light enough to give hope for future? - Derby Telegraph - 04/04/14
Shops on Green Lane, Derby, could benefit from £2m of investment - BBC - 03/04/14
Buildings in Green Lane, Derby, to be restored - BBC - 13/11/13
Derby Hippodrome Restoration Group Refused Council Help - BBC - 16/10/13
Trust gets boost in its bid for cash to revamp Historic theatre - Derby Telegraph - 06/08/13
Study paves way for Hippodrome - Derby Telegraph - 05/08/13
Hippodrome study is encouraging news for its future - Derby Telegraph - 15/10/12
Council orders study into Hippodrome's future as a theatre - Derby Telegraph - 02/10/12
£15 million bill to bring Hippodrome back to former theatre glory - Derby Telegraph - 20/04/12
Campaigners hope for Derby Hippodrome Restoration - BBC - 19/04/11
Knocking down the Hippodrome would be such a daft idea - Derby Telegraph - 08/02/12
First steps in battle to save the Hippodrome - Derby Telegraph - 13/12/11
Sparing the Hippodrome from the Bulldozer - Derby Telegraph - 13/12/11
An Angel in Waiting - Telegraph (Half way down article) - 12/12/11
Responsible person(s) could face two years in prison - FIA - 28/11/11
Arrests after Derby Hippodrome Blaze - The Stage - 28/11/11
Two men arrested on suspicion of arson - BBC - 28/11/11
Hippodrome Fire (video) - ITV - 27/11/11
Derby Hippodrome Damaged By Fire - BBC - 26/11/11


Other News
Green Lane & St. Peter’s Conservation Area - BBC - 15/11/11


Press Releases

Derby Hippo marks centenary with actress Gwen Taylor and 100 supporters - 07/07/14
90% of survey respondents see Derby Hippodrome as a new theatre for Derby - 19/04/12
Latham's Appointed to lead Options Appraisal for Hippodrome - 13/12/11


Restoration News

November 2012 Newsletter
October 2011 Newsletter


"The Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust is delighted that proposals to develop the Hippodrome site as a multi-storey car park have been rejected by the Planning Control Committee of Derby City Council. The decision to follow the council officers' recommendation to reject the application was unanimous and followed speeches on the night from the Theatres Trust, English Heritage, Derby Civic Society and DHRT, all urging that the plans be rejected. Councillors on the committee also spoke out strongly, making clear that there was no need for another car park and that it was important to retain Derby's heritage. The decision was greeted by cheers and applause from those sitting in the public gallery, where banners and placards in support of restoration of the Hippodrome were on display."

The council's webcast recording of the meeting can be viewed here:"

click above for latest press releases
See bottom of this page for latest press publications

A Potted History...
The Derby Hippodrome is a purpose built theatre opened in 1914 as a 2,300 capacity Variety house. It was converted in 1930 into an 1,800 seat cinema, becoming a theatre once more for only 9 years until 1959. Three years later the theatre was purchased by Mecca Group who converted the theatre into a Bingo Social Club and was later purchased by Walker's Bingo Group.

Walkers Bingo ceased operations rather suddenly and in 2007 sold the theatre to Mr Christopher Anthony, a Property Developer.

Local people expressed concern as to the theatre’s future through the pages of the Derby Evening Telegraph and through the winter of late 2007- early 2008 the paper reported numerous incidents of vandalism to the building and pointed to the fact that the vandals could gain entry to the building with apparent ease.

Continued deterioration prompted a local businessman to make an offer to purchase the building from Mr Anthony, but the offer was rejected and in February 2008 an arson attack caused damage to the orchestra pit area of the theatre. The following month the Derby Evening Telegraph published shocking photographs of the wrecked interior. The pictures published in the Telegraph edition of Wednesday March 19
th showed that the entire dress circle balcony had been removed and all its plaster work destroyed.

Elsewhere much of the decorative plaster work around the auditorium had disappeared including large sections of the proscenium arch. Remains of the plaster mouldings on the floor suggested that the damage was the result of deliberate vandalism involving a sledge hammer rather than natural decay. Commenting in that edition of the paper several people interviewed called for the Council to step in and save the building and the Council’s spokesperson said that the Council was doing everything that it could do within its power. Ironically, 9 days later, on Friday March 28th the theatre suffered its most serious blow to date. It transpired that the Council had indeed served a Repairs Notice upon Mr Anthony and a day earlier two large machines commonly used in demolition work, appeared alongside the theatre. Several members of the public contacted the Council to express concern but on the morning of Friday March 28th the machinery was used to undertake work to the building. During the course of this work, a large section of the wall and roof collapsed and by the end of the day all of the roof, the fly tower and the entire left hand wall of the auditorium had been reduced to rubble. Photographs the following day in the Derby Evening Telegraph showed the extent of the damage with the auditorium and stage house in ruins.

Before (condition noted in 2007) After (from 28 Days Later site)

Derby City Council later pursued an injunction at the High Court in London preventing any further work to the building and some months later issued a Repairs Notice on Mr Anthony. The Repairs Notice was subsequently suspended and Mr Anthony’s company submitted an application to replace the Hippodrome with a multi storey car park. The proposals showed that only the Macklin Street and Green Lane frontages will be retained, otherwise the entire interior of the theatre would to be lost. See
News and the articles below for the latest position...

June 2011 - DHRT first AGM -
Article by Anton Rippon
Sept 2010 - DHRT awarded Charitable Status
Sept 2010 - Derby Telegraph -
Owner to carry out repairs
Aug 2010 - Derby Telegraph -
Ruined Hippodrome to be repaired by city council
July 2010 - Derby Telegraph -
Car Park Plan Voted Out!
July 2010 - Derby Telegraph -
A Correction Required
July 2010 - Derby Telegraph -
How the Hippo could look
July 2010 - The Stage -
Turning Point!
July 2010 -
Anton Rippon’s Report in The Derby Telegraph
February 2010 -
The Stage Article - Hippodrome Owner Pleads Guilty
February 2010 -
Daily Telegraph Article

There are many photos of the devastation at
28 Days Later - Urban Exploration Website. Particularly here and here.

There are four videos on YouTube

You can see our
original website which shows how beautiful the theatre was in 2007.

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