Bingo fans in the Carlisle area will be celebrating this weekend, as Buzz Bingo – Britain's largest retail operator – has announced that it is to keep its English Plaza branch in Carlise open.
In a surprise but welcome U-turn, the beleaguered bingo chain has found a way to keep the branch and save twenty jobs in the process. An arrangement with the landlord has been agreed and the popular bingo hall on Bochergate will now reopen. The date of reopening is yet to be confirmed. However, it is expected an announcement on its reopening will be made soon.
Buzz Bingo Carlisle Saved
Peter Brigden, the chief retail officer at Buzz Bingo which also owns buzz bingo.com, called it “absolutely fantastic news” and went on to say:
“We have worked closely with our landlord to reach an agreement that means we can reopen our Carlisle club,”
“The safety of our colleagues and customers is our number one priority”.
“We’re now busy working on our reopening plans, putting the important measures in place that we need to make the club Covid-19 secure and t o bring even better bingo to our customers.”
The Buzz Bingo Carlisle hall was one of 26 Buzz Bingo venues set for permanent closure prompted by financial difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. A government-ordered lockdown starting in March hit Buzz Bingo hard. In July, the company entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal in order to secure its long-term future.
Chris Matthews, chief executive of Buzz Bingo said last month when the closure of 26 of its 117 UK bingo clubs was announced:
“We could never have expected this outcome when we closed our doors on 21st March, but the coronavirus crisis is a completely one-off event,” he said.
“The decision to restructure our club portfolio is the right way to secure our long-term future.”
At this stage, it is not believed that any more of the 25 remaining Buzz Bingo clubs listed for closure will be saved like Buzz Bingo Carlisle. However, bingo fans up and down the country will be checking the bingo news to see if there could be more reversals.
Watch this space!