The once popular Gala Bingo Hall in St Ann's Nottingham, which closed earlier this year, has been granted permission to be turned into student flats.
The green light for the transformation was given by Nottingham City Council to Total Reclaims Demolition having shut its doors on January 31st. Staff at the former ballroom in St Ann's Well Road were offered a transfer to the Top Valley Gala Bingo club.
The closure was heavily criticized by many disappointed residents at the time. It follows the closing of doors of bingo halls in both Ilkeston and the Beacon Ritz Bingo Hall in South Street in the Summer of 2018.
BSP Holdings purchased the bingo hall from Buzz Group Ltd for an undisclosed fee in January. The investment director at BSP Holdings, Adam Watson, said:
“This is an exciting project for BSP Holdings.
“We have the opportunity to create a landmark development in Nottingham City Centre.
“This acquisition shows our confidence in the market and represents a multi-million pound investment in the regeneration of Nottingham.”
Gala Bingo Squeezed
The latest move by the Buzz Group in selling established bingo halls follows last years disappointing financial results and a pattern nationwide. Turnover fell below £300m with a £100m decline in sales reported. Buzz Group, which rebranded from Gala Leisure in Autumn last year saw its pre-tax profits decline from £19m to £13.6m. Based in Nottingham, The Buzz Group operate the popular online bingo Buzzingo.com. The Group employs 3500 people across the UK and receives 1.2 million visits to 119 land-based clubs nationwide.
The Bingo market as a whole, both online and offline, has experienced a squeezing of revenues. Tighter regulation, high competition and lower player values has seen the closure of some of the smaller online bingo brands. Meanwhile, bingo halls across the United Kingdom have been closing at an increasing rate. Developers are targeting the mostly inner town or city bingo hall locations with squeezed owners looking to cash in.