Will Hulme Hippodrome be saved from the wrecking ball to become a creative community space?

Expressing his concern over the dominant development agenda in the city Oli said:

“If the current wave of development continues Manchester will become sterile with loads of places for people to live but no space for people to do anything else. Many young people are searching for places to inspire them within their communities but are increasingly having nowhere to go.”

“Community space ‘that can change their lives’ Oli emphasises that the campaign is not about saving the building as a #Manchester heirloom, it is primarily aimed at putting it to good use for the local community.” #SHH #SaveHulmeHip

Read interview with Save Hulme Hippordrome Director, Oli Wilson in the Meteor here

SHH! by V/A

Our album fundraiser – SHH! – launched today!

You can find it here

100% of profits go towards supporting the campaign 🙏🏽

Thanks so much to the generosity of @mute.artefact for curating this and making it happen and to all the wonderful artists and producer who contributed tracks or artwork:

Alpine Sound

Mastered by Tom Beilby @ahnwyll
Artwork by @somewhatexists

Released October 23, 2021

Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

All proceeds go to Save Hulme Hippodrome. A cause to help save the beautiful building from being destroyed and sold to gentrifying developers! 

Save The Hulme Hippodrome is comprised of members from the local community, Friends of the Hulme Hippodrome, Save Hulme Hippodrome, Hulme Community Forum and The Theatres Trust. 

Aside from slowing/stopping the action they are working with Manchester City Council to protect the building and are currently applying to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value, as well as cooperating with the Charities Commission on an investigation into the circumstances surround the sale. 

SHH have a vision for the future of the Hulme Hippodrome that would be beneficial for the arts and communities of Manchester for another 120 years. 

The vision includes a full refurbishment, new mixed uses for the numerous spaces in the building and putting the Hip into Community ownership. 

For more information – hulmehippodrome.org 

Big love to all the artists who sent in their tracks to help fight the good fight x 

 The Elephant in the Room 

The Elephant in the Room 

One of the delights of our community events is to hear the various local stories and myths that have grown up around Hulme Hippodrome. 

Recently in this bulletin we explored the “secret tunnel” folklore that had the artists escaping the crowds by getting back to their digs at the Junction Hotel by going underground. And, given that both buildings faced onto Preston Street at the time and that there was a large storm drain under the road with steps to both buildings, the likely truth was probably resolved, being 95% likely. 

And on the 120th birthday bash on 7 October another wonderful community story was told. 

We know that there are two theatres inside the building – the larger Hippodrome and the smaller Playhouse, now tenanted by the Niamos arts centre – and that the Hippodrome opened a year before the Playhouse – 1901 and 1902.

The assumption was that they were built in different years. Or were they? The story is that both might have been built in 1901, but for the first year the owners tried something different with the smaller space, and only when their experiment didn’t work did the smaller building open as a second theatre. 

And remember that, up to 1905 when they swapped their names overnight, the smaller theatre was called the Hippodrome and the larger theatre was the Junction. 

And what was a hippodrome, back in the day? Well, the idea was for people to be entertained by watching acts with horses, in the same way that a travelling circus with tents would include animal acts such as tigers and lions. In ancient Roman and Greek times a hippodrome was built for people to watch horse and chariot races. 

Remember too, this is in 1901 before there were strict rules about animal welfare and rights, or for protecting endangered species. For example, Belle Vue in east Manchester had a zoo with animal displays until 1977. And so the story goes … the smaller Playhouse space was actually built at the same time in 1901 and for its first year it was used for animal displays until, losing money, it was changed by the owners to be a theatre space. 

Tony Baldwinson, October 2021

120th Anniversary of opening of the Hippodrome

On Thursday 35 supporters gathered on Warwick Street to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Hulme Hippodrome with a specially made film shown on the side of the building, cake & candles, signing a card, sharing memories & plans for the future.

Our thanks to everyone who made this great evening happen, including Niamos and the Hulme Garden Centre. The 120th Hulme Hippodrome anniversary also had a shout-out on stage at the Contact Theatre nearby.

Save The Hippo Campaign at Green island Festival, Hulme Community Garden Centre, Saturday 4th Septmber

Brenda Hickey, born in #Hulme speaking at #greenislandfestival :

“The powers that be, they took our homes when we had no voice. They are NOT going to take OUR Hippodrome. It was opened on 7th October 1901 and in 2021 we will give it back the respect it deserves.”

Asset of Community Value boost for Hulme Hippodrome campaign

Source: Theatre Trust, 17th September 2021

“We are pleased that Manchester City Council has listed Hulme Hippodrome as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), recognising the theatre’s important cultural and social role in its community and offering the theatre additional protection from development.

This is a great achievement for Save The Hulme Hippodrome the campaign group fighting to return live performance to the Grade II listed music hall. It gives the campaign group the legal right to a six-month pause in any sale by its current owner in order to raise the funds required to bid for it.

An iconic building of social, historical and architectural significance and currently in a poor state of repair, Hulme Hippodrome has been on our Theatres at Risk register since the list began in 2006. We have been working with Save The Hulme Hippodrome providing advice and support to their campaign to protect and secure the future of the building for the local community. Becoming an ACV protects the theatre for the next five years. 

Theatres Trust offers a free advice service to theatre owners, operators, local authorities and campaign groups including offering advice in better protecting local theatres through the ACV process email us at advice@theatrestrust.org.uk.”