Project information

The Royal Project - Royal Hippodrome Eastbourne

The Royal Project aims to renovate and remodel Eastbourne's Hippodrome theatre building around its magnificent Grade II listed auditorium, and to bring it into use as a fully working theatre and Arts Centre , capable of housing a wide variety of art forms, and operating all year round.

February 2009 - October 2014

Charity information: The Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome Trust

The Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome Trust logo
  • Need


    The restoration of the Royal Hippodrome will ensure the future security of this very special piece of Eastbourne's history not only by preserving its heritage but by helping it to become established as a centre for community engagement for present and future generations.


    We will restore the Grade II listed auditorium to ensure the building is preserved for present and future generations to enjoy, The updated stage, back stage and public areas will enable it to house a wider range of artistic activities.
    We will establish the theatre as an exciting venue for artistic growth, allowing established and potential audiences back into the theatre, coupled with inclusive education and outreach projects to help us establish links with the widest possible audiance.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Bring the theatre up to present standards of health, safety and operation.


    » Identify the most pressing requirements, seek advice and funding to implement them so that the theatre can begin to operate and develop further.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a theatre in a position to attract visitors through its doors with the aim to run a full programme from April 2012

    Aim 2

    Begin a handover from Eastbourne Council and refurbish and programme the Theatre from Oct 2011


    » Raise the funds to refurbish the foyer, bar and auditorium and develop a programme of shows and events to bring audiences back into the theatre.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an fully functioning theatre and media centre preserving its heritage and becoming a magnet for artistic and creative growth as well as economic development.

  • Impact


    In the long term the Theatre will help to enhance the Seaside area of Eastbourne which has been identified as a conservation area in need of regeneration. It will be a community hub preserved for future generations to enjoy. It will house theatre performance, education outreach projects, dance, music, film, television, digital media and media arts, identifying the art forms that are currently under represented, helping to determine future provision and preserving it's rich theatrical heritage.


    An ongoing plan of restoration and development would need to be funded, in the long term we aim to ensure the theatre can support itself financially but there is a risk that funds will not be available for the project to develop. Our business plan is realistic and plans will only be moved forward in stages so that we can be sure of the required support and funds.


    Donors and Supporters of the project and the theatre will be kept up to date with regular news letters and invitations to open evenings, allowing them to become a part of the project. Once the theatre programme has begun we will offer special advantages with regular supporters events.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £500,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £200,000 Referbishment project development and refurbishment
      £300,000 Restoration Restoration of auditorium, public and back stage areas

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Eastbourne Borough Council £38,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Royal Hippodrome is located in the Seaside area of Eastbourne East Sussex, it is a conservation area and has been identified as a deprived area in need of regeneration.


    The project will be of great benefit to the communities of Eastbourne and the wider areas of Sussex as well as bringing substantial economic growth and attract a greater number of visitors of the town year round.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our charity has the growing support of businesses and cultural organisations in Eastbourne and its members are fully aware of the needs and advantages this project will bring. We have professional theatre, education and business people on our team who have a strong vision for the future of the theatre as a bringer of positive growth and creativity to the area.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Janet Rawson

    Chair of the Management Team