BIRMINGHAM businesses have given a £5,000 boost to Hippodrome Plus at a special fundraising gala event before a performance of the global musical phenomenon Wicked at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Evening sponsor Staybridge Suites Birmingham joined 100 cross-sector guests to help raise funds for the Education, Access and Community Projects work that the theatre undertakes every year with thousands of young people, especially those with learning disabilities, families and other community groups.

Staybridge Suites business development manager, Jodie Armstrong, said: “We are very proud to have played our part in this fantastic achievement. It’s reassuring to know that the funds will be put to such good use.”

Birmingham Hippodrome’s creative programmes director, Paul Kayne,s said: “Birmingham Hippodrome is best known for shows on the main stage but we are also doing a great deal of important work in the community.

"We hope that these businesses will join us with their families to take part in our outdoor events this summer, including the British premiere of Minimum Monument, a display of ice figures, part of the city’s commemorations of the centenary of World War and Summer in Southside, a free festival of dance, circus and music.”

Other city names contributed to the fundraising by bidding for a series of prizes. The winner of the prize draw was Jo Kirk, of Calthorpe Estates, who is looking forward to an overnight stay with Staybridge Suites and a show at the theatre.

Birmingham Hippodrome corporate development manager, Judith Greenburgh said: “It’s fantastic to have such wide support from the business community. We are delighted our gala events regularly sell out because of shows such as Wicked.

"Businesses can entertain clients and enjoy some theatrical glamour. The fact they are supporting the work of Hippodrome Plus at the same time is a fantastic bonus. We are planning similar events in 2015.”