Mecca Bingo is not only one of the biggest online brands, but they are also very active on the high street, with bingo hall scattered across the country. At the end of August, the company submitted plans for a new type of hall to Walsall Council’s planning committee. We have now heard that the committee has advised their officers to give the plan the go-ahead, meaning local residents will soon have a new place to play their favourite games called Luda Bingo.
This Luda Bingo hall, which is destined for the Park Street venue, will feature a cafe and an electric lounge complete with jackpot machines. The Rank Group are reported to have spent over £12 million on the lease for the site and will spend another £900,000 to refurbish the units that have sat vacant on the plot for quite some time.
Luda Bingo Create Controversy With Plans
Even though the Luda Bingo hall will generate twenty-five full and part time jobs and that it will bring hundreds of new people to the area each week, not everyone is happy about the council’s decision. The building they plan to use is part of the Bridge Street Conservation Area and has been empty since the Diffusion clothes shop left in February 2015.
Walsall councillor, Aftab Nawaz, is against the scheme and says it would ‘ruin the town centre’ and drive shoppers away, adding “We need to try and get a more diverse mix of businesses. We do not want a high street full of gambling outlets”. He went on to say “I don’t think this would be attractive to shoppers and would instead drive them away. We are trying to regenerate the town centre but we are seeing more and more of these types of establishments.”
Councillor Adrian Andrew, who is the deputy leader of the Conservative party in Walsall, is also not a fan of the scheme, saying “This development is not right for Park Street. We have been trying for a number of years to create leisure areas in the town, which is what this is, but not in retail areas.”