Save Hulme Hippo

by Shh Save The Hippodrome in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 10th March 2021 we successfully raised £17,185 with 563 supporters in 28 days

Save the iconic Hulme Hippodrome from redevelopment.

by Shh Save The Hippodrome in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

After less then a week we are already going for our stretch target. 

Having raised the funds to establish the vehicle to purchase and restore the building. 

We now seeking the funding we need to  putt together a watertight case for community / performance / museum use.

We need  to show that there is a viable and sustainable community-based use for the building that can then serve to counter-act any more commercial based use for the building.


"Fall in and follow me!"

We are raising money to save the Hulme Hippodrome from developers - we could lose the building forever.


Here is point by point description of our position and strategy.

The building is Grade 2 listed and is/was owned by Gilbert Daya Ministries, a UK charity. They have neglected the building and effectively abandoned it. The City Council have closed the building up to protect it from further damage and there are charges set against the building. It is deteriorating, but structurally sound, main problem is the roof and the beautiful plaster work and features.

Trustees of the GDM Charity attempted to sell the building at the beginning of the year, but this sale is now subject to formal inmvestigation by the Charities Commission and the Land Registry. 

The attempted purchaser is an undischarged bankrupt. They attempted to resell at an auction saying it had planning permission for housing. After intervention from City Council Planning Department and Charities Commission the Auctioneers stopped the sale.

The auction list price was £950,000, we understand the charities sold it for about £400,000. The real value of the property needs to be independently assessed but our best estimate is that the sale value is far less than that, because of the state of the building and due to its listing - it must remain intact.

We are a responsible and credible organisation that can purchase, restore and bring the building back into use for the community. We formed as an action group about a year ago and picked up the baton from previous efforts.  This time combining community campaigners with experts in running large projects and successfully bringing buildings back into use. This includes the Theatre Trust and other backers.

Crowd Funder we are fundraising for costs based on the expertise within the group gained on other historic and community restoration projects and on advice of the Theatres Trust, which has worked with other theatres in a similar position.

Surveys and valuation we need to appoint professionals to carry out an initial high-level conditions and structural survey and do an unbiased valuation of the building. This will help to ascertain the scale of the repair works necessary and also identify what would be a fair market value for the building in its current condition. Based on similar projects at other historic theatres, the estimated costs of these works are structural engineer visit and report £3k, conditions survey £3k, valuation £1.5k

Organisational advice as a newly formed group looking to take on a historic building, we need to be able to demonstrate to potential funders and partners that we are a credible, well-run organisation. This will include establishing the organisation with the right legal structure to take ownership of the building when that opportunity arises. The estimated cost for legal and accountancy advice is £3k

Stretch target We have a lot of ideas about what Hulme Hippodrome could be used for and there is a lot of enthusiasm and expertise in our group but we need to build a watertight case for community use of the building. We already have a great vision document but this should be supported by a viability study and economic impact assessment from an external expert that demonstrates to funders that our plans are viable and sustainable. This is important to counteract any arguments for the building being redeveloped for commercial use and show that the initial investment for restoration is worthwhile. This would cost approximately £10k.


 We reached our initial target . Thank you so much for you enthusiastic support. We are now going for our stretch target of £16,000

We got the Hippodrome pulled from auction on Wednesday 10th February! Well done to all our supporters for piling on the pressure. However we have learned that a private sale will now go ahead so the fight must continue.


The Hulme Hippodrome is a Grade II listed theatre and music hall one mile outside Manchester City Centre.

Built alongside the the Hulme Playhouse in 1901 by the Broadhead theatre empire it operated as their headquarters: the circuit comprising 17 other venues across the North West which are now mostly lost.


The Broadhead theatre chain made a huge contribution to working-class entertainment across the region and made theatre, arts and entertainment open to all. 

Covered in gilded Rococco plasterwork the Hulme Hip is an iconic building of social, historical, and architectural significance and has been on the Theatres Trust ‘Theatres at Risk’ list since the list began in 2006.



On 22nd January we found The Hippodrome had been listed on an online auction house for £950,000. This was unexpected and announced just 2.5 weeks before the auction date.

Originally listed with planning consent for residential redevelopment - we found this not to be true and had it removed from the listing. However, there is still a risk that the building we be bought by a developer when it goes for auction on February 10th and this jewel will be lost forever.


Save The Hulme Hippodrome 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.


Our vision would see the building fully renovated and host to:

  • Production Academy - teaching set and costume design, sound & lighting, flying & rigging.
  • Museum of Manchester Music and Arts - a modular museum designed for research and education
  • Bakery and employment academy for ex-homeless
  • Cafe, library and book store
  • Bike hub and workshop
  • Co-working space
  • Community wellbeing centre

We also want to bring the building and operation under community ownership.


Full renovation plans will be split across several phases. At this point in time we are raising an initial pot of money to asses the scope of works and also set up an organisation to run the project.


1. Surveys and valuation- getting an initial high level conditions and structural survey; also a valuation on the building. This will help ascertain the scale of repair works necessary. Structural engineer visit and report - £3k, conditions survey £3k, valuation £1.5k

2. Organisational advice - a need for some expert advice in organisational set up, creating the CIC and starting the process in place for setting up a CIO / BPT etc. Legal and accountancy advice £3k

3. Stretch target... putting together a watertight case for community / performance / museum use - to show that there is a viable and sustainable community-based use for the building that can then serve to counter-act any more commercial based use for the building – this would cost around £10k.




REWARDS - Please check out our incentives!



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 we 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.

We are also hosting regular meetings with community partnerships and stakeholders.

If you would like to join the campaign please get in touch: [email protected]

Support us on FB - Friends of Hulme Hippodrome Group




This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

A Shh Campaign Badge

Wear your Campaign Badge with pride All our supporters get a badge whether you put a fiver or £500 in the pot.

£10 or more

45 of 200 claimed

Thank you Postcard

A limited edition Hulme Hippodrome postcard with special thank you message.

£20 or more

42 of 100 claimed

Shh Hippodrome Campaign Tote Bag

A Special Shh Campaign Tote bag to use out and about town

£25 or more

43 of 100 claimed

SHH T Shirt

Special limited edition Save The Hulme Hippodrome T Shirt so you can be the envy of all your friends.

£35 or more

46 of 50 claimed

Early walk around tour and Hippodrome Tote Bag

An early tour of the building (with covid measures in place) with project leaders and an ultra cool SHH Tote Bag!

£60 or more

9 of 100 claimed

Save Hulme Hippodrome A3 poster print

Exclusive limited edition The first Screen Printed Save Hulme Hip A3 poster print.

£250 or more

8 of 50 claimed

Golden Ticket

A first free membership for life - and a fully catered invite for 2 to our building restoration celebration party

£500 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Communications sponsor

Have your organisation listed on all our publications for the first year of restoration, and a celebratory thankyou on our crowdfunder campaign and sponsor invite to our first restoration party

£1,000 or more

0 of 300 claimed

First Patron Brick -

First Patron Brick - a custom designed Brick Mural on the external wall, each Brick will be a plaque engraved Mural Tile designed by a local Manchester Artist supporting the campaign Invite for 2 to our first restoration phase party

£5,000 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Naming plaque above entrance

Have your name or business on a engraved and designed plaque above the main theatre bar or main enterance and all our sponsorship markeitng for the duration of the campaign Invite to our first restoration phase party

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.