The clock’s ticking . . .

Following yesterday evening’s decision by members and officers of DMBC’s planning committee we are disappointed at the agreement to defer the demolition of the Hippodrome Theatre / Gala Bingo Hall . . .

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DZG CEO Peter Suddock said: “We see this as a wonderful opportunity to develop a sad and forgotten site with a futuristic building that echoes the unique and exciting lines of Lubetkin’s renowned Tectons when they were unveiled to the world in 1937. 

“Trilobite will form a striking architectural entrance to the town, offering uninterrupted views of 11th century DudleyCastle and incorporate a centre for zoology, geology and education with a link to the limestone Stores Cavern beneath the zoo site.  

“However, while we are keen to develop this unloved site for the benefit of the borough, through education and much-needed apprenticeships, we have a timescale to honour.

“Work will start next month at DZG on some of the borough’s most important and iconic buildings: Lubetkin’s Tectons, the world’s largest single collection of Modernist structures sited across the 40-acre zoological gardens.   “The 12-strong group was granted World Monuments Fund status in 2009, ranked alongside international landmarks such as Machu Pichu and the Taj Mahal and we currently have the attention of global architectural conservationists who are eager for the unique restorations to be completed.  

“We have worked hard to secure funding for this international project through determined efforts and proven commitment and much of the funds will be from our own pockets made possible through prudent housekeeping. 

“Thus while we see the demolition and subsequent development of the Hippodrome Theatre / Gala Bingo Hall site as an opportunity to bring major investment to the borough, we cannot indefinitely await decision and will consider persuing alternative projects to the benefit of the zoological gardens.

“Unused for more than half a century as a theatre by the local population, it now seems that the Hippodrome Theatre / Gala Bingo Hall will suffer the same fate as Dudley Town centre, lapsing into progressive decline.”

Read more about our plans https://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/news/trilobite-revealed