The fate of Dudley’s landmark former Hippodrome building looked sealed today – with council bosses saying campaigners lacked any ‘sensible’ plans for it to be saved.
They are now pressing forward with controversial plans to demolish the landmark venue.
Demolition plans will go back before Dudley Council’s planning committee in the New Year.
It comes just days after the old theatre, sitting in the shadow of Dudley Castle, marked its 75th anniversary with a renewed campaign to save it.
Dudley Council’s regeneration boss, Councillor Judy Foster, has halted campaigners’ plans to re-enter the Hippodrome to gather details on refurbishment works needed, citing fears over safety.
But the friends group desperately fighting to save the building have called the refusal a ‘deliberate ploy’ to bring down their campaign and branded the accusations over their proposals ‘nonsense’.
The group drew up a business plan to showcase how the former theatre and Gala Bingo building could be saved.
But an independent assessment ordered by the council found the plan was ‘unviable’.
Councillor Foster said: “The proposal from the friends group was assessed independently and the outcome was clear in terms of it not being a viable option, which is why the council will not be considering the proposal any further.”
He added: “We have always made it clear that sensible proposals for the building would be considered, however, in the absence of such a proposal the council will continue to explore the option of demolition.”