Trust bid to save The Hippodrome

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne.
Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne.

A MAJOR fundraising campaign has been launched to save Eastbourne’s historic Royal Hippodrome Theatre.

Members of the Royal Hippodrome Trust hosted an event at the Leaf Hall Community Arts Centre last week to get the campaign underway.

They want people of the town to join them in restoring the theatre, supporting events staged there and gaining much-needed grants to carry out repairs.

Chair of the Friends of the Royal Hippodrome and acting chair of the Trust Pam Kuhn said, “The theatre belongs to all of us but we cannot do it on our own. We need support.

“The theatre is in need of considerable repair and restoration but together we can do it.”

Over the years numerous stars including Bruce Forsyth, Tommy Trinder, Vera Lynn, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Ken Dodd and Roy Hudd have all taken to the stage of the theatre, which is still used but is in desperate need of a facelift.

Last year, Eastbourne Borough Council pledged to hand over control of the theatre to the independent trust.

The planned transfer will be in various stages with decreasing financial support from the council by April 2014.

It is hoped it will pave the way for the local landmark to become a leading arts and media centre and to act as a focal point for the regeneration of the area.

Various groups and individuals have been working towards creating a long-term vision for the theatre with the intention to draw down funding to bring it into greater community use.

The group is now looking for people to help with raising funds and awareness and those interested can contact the Trust through the Leaf Hall Community Arts Centre in Seaside.