Save Hulme Hippodrome organises spring festival in campaign to stop demolition of theatre building
- Spring festival hosted by Save Hulme Hippodrome campaigners and co-hosted by Man Met students
- Collaboration marks important date in fight to keep the Hippodrome alive
- Walking tour of exterior shows rich history of 120-year-old building
The event on Sunday is another steppingstone in the group's efforts to preserve the building from being demolished and the land being developed by owner Charles Gordon.
The event was organised with a group of Man Met postgraduate students.
Annabel Pinchemain said: “A group of us came up with our events company. We’re called 120 Events because the hippodrome had its 120th birthday last year and we decided for our event that we wanted to help the hippodrome.
“We got in touch with the campaign and joined the mailing list.
"I am the finance manager for 120 Events where we get involved helping with the marketing for the campaign itself. And today, we’ve just put on an event to help raise awareness for them."
Northern Quota also spoke to Paul Gardner, a member of the main campaigning group and managing director of G7 Entertainment Services.
“The campaign is basically trying to get the Hulme Hippodrome back into public ownership and used as a venue for the community,” he said.
Paul said the aim is to convert the building into a teaching and production house theatre with five, fully accessible floors and production equipment for development of talent in the city, both in terms of the technical side and also the artistic side.
There was also a bingo segment of the event in which Annabel Pinchemain acted as host.
A walking tour around the exterior of the building was the main event on Sunday, raising awareness and educating visitors about the importance of the building.
Bricked-up arches indicating where stage doors once stood, as well as the neglected pyramid-like roof, are now mere ghosts of the former theatre scene in Hulme.
The tour was led by the campaign members, Tony Baldwinson and Paul Baker, who stress the importance of getting ownership of the building in order to revive it.
Tony says the group is currently “talking to lawyers”.
Paul added: "At the moment it's in the hands of an owner who doesn't want to sell it to us. He bought it for £450,000 and then sold it to himself.
"It used to have an asset community value on it, but we lost that and we've got to reapply.
"At the moment, the biggest thing is, there’s a section 215. So, all of the broken windows, the roof, the vegetation and everything have to be cleaned up by the landlord. Otherwise, they will do the work themselves and charge to the landlord.”
Campaigners have posted Section 215 legal notices on the side of the hippodrome to put pressure on the landlord to enter back into negotiations.
A previous owner was evangelist Gilbert Deya, of Gilbert Deya Ministries, who was extradited to Kenya for alleged child trafficking and recently lost a bid to stop witnesses from testifying against him.
The Northern Quota contacted Manchester city council and Charles Gordon for comment.