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Brighton Hippodrome and Rose Playhouse among England’s most endangered buildings

Brighton Hippodrome topped the Theatres Trust's list for the second consecutive year in 2015. Photo: Theatres Trust

Brighton Hippodrome, the Rose Playhouse in Southwark and Plymouth’s Palace Theatre have been named among the buildings most at risk in England.

The Heritage at Risk Register, an “annual snapshot” of the health of the nation’s historic environment, comprises more than 5,000 buildings, monuments, parks and conservation areas. It lists buildings that are at risk of closure and in “need of rescue”.

Shakespearean playhouse the Rose, which is partially excavated, is one of a number of cultural buildings that feature on the register, compiled by Historic England.

Honorary artistic associate at the Rose Theatre, Pepe Pyrke, said that featuring the site on the Heritage at Risk Register “only adds to the urgency and can only help in creating a persuasive argument to complete the job started in 1989”.

The Rose Theatre Trust has so far raised more than £100,000 towards the project, which is expected to cost £8 million in total.

Pyrke added that the trust would be applying to large funders in the near future.

Other theatre buildings include Brighton Hippodrome, the Palace in Plymouth, Morecambe Winter Gardens and Alexandra Palace, all of which also feature on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register 2015 [1].

Brighton Hippodrome and the Palace in Plymouth topped the Theatres Trust’s list for the second consecutive year in 2015, alongside the Victoria Theatre in Salford.

In London, the Old Fire Station in West Norwood – on which renovations are due to start later this year – also features on the list, alongside Hornsey Town Hall, which has previously been used for arts and culture events, and the former Tottenham Palace Theatre, which is now in use for worship.

Historic England – formerly English Heritage – said the 2015 register was the “most comprehensive to date” in terms of the range of heritage covered, adding that it hoped to take 750 sites off the register over the next three years.

The organisation also warned that despite the register listing fewer buildings than previous years, the cost of saving the remaining ones is increasing.

“For the first time the conservation deficit, the difference in the cost of repair compared to the end value, has gone above £500,000. This is because the buildings left on the register are the ones hardest to repair,” it said.

It added that the cost of materials for conservation jobs is also rising.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said the organisation was committed to working with local authorities and civic societies in order to safeguard the nation’s heritage.

He said: “This year’s register gives us the most complete assessment of the state of our nation’s heritage yet. It shows that we are making progress, but also that the challenge is still significant.”