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Competition: Dudley entertainment venue

Dudley hippodrome image by tony hisgett
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Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is looking for a consultant for a landmark 3,000-to-4,000-seat multipurpose entertainment venue

The team selected for the £15,000-to-£60,000 contract will complete a feasibility study exploring potential options for the new events hall to supersede the Dudley Hippodrome (pictured) which closed 10 years ago.

The study will identify an optimum size, location, costs, and target audience for the arena, which could focus on music, sports, theatre, comedy, exhibitions, conferences, and corporate events. Bidding teams must demonstrate prior experience of working on large-scale venues.

In its brief, the council says it identified the provision of a multi-purpose entertainment venue as a priority in May. ‘This followed a lengthy campaign, established by members of the public, to save Dudley Hippodrome – a town centre-based former theatre, constructed during the 1930s with a seating capacity of circa 1,500. The venue was last used as a theatre in 1964. It was subsequently utilised as a night club and Bingo Hall before closing in 2009.

‘The traditional layout and format of the auditorium and the cost of refurbishment were identified as critical barriers to viable refurbishment. However, Dudley Council wishes to explore the potential for a replacement entertainment venue that is capable of a viable future in order to aid its regeneration aspirations relating to the provision of high-quality visitor attractions and enhancing the night time/evening entertainment and leisure offer within the borough.’

Dudley is a historic market town 10km south of Wolverhampton. It became a major centre of the Industrial Revolution during the 19th century. Local landmarks include the ruins of Dudley Castle and Dudley Zoo which features several buildings by The Tecton Group.

In April, Napier Clarke Architects was granted planning permission for its contest-winning £5.8 million visitor and learning centre at The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.

The latest project will create a new large-scale events venue for the town which saw its 1,750-capacity hippodrome close ten years ago. Previous bids to save the building have failed.

Bids for the feasibility study role will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost. The deadline for applications is midday, 18 October.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Priory Road
West Midlands

Tel: 01384 812683
Email: ronny.tigere@dudley.gov.uk


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