A former bingo hall in Chorley, Lancashire is set to be demolished to make way for a redevelopment that the local council hopes to pay for using the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
The Buzz Bingo club in Market Street was one of 26 venues that the popular bingo chain announced would be permanently closed after the Coronavirus lockdown took its toll back in July.
After surrendering the club’s lease which effectively returned it to Chorley Council, it was hoped that the building could be saved with some adaptions and remodelling.
However, building inspectors since discovered that a significant amount of asbestos was present and that demolishing the club would be safer and less expensive than trying to fix the problem. The inspectors also identified several other problems which could lead to the venue “falling into serious disrepair and becoming a public health hazard” if not addressed.
Chorley Council has just announced that it plans to demolish the building while it looks at “future options for the site” and, as the council has just been invited to make a bid for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, having a vacant site that’s ready to develop would enhance its chances of securing funding that could help regenerate the town centre.
The council has been keen to keep residents up-to-speed with its plans, and although it acknowledges that locals are sure to “have happy memories of the building”, its redevelopment could help the local economy to recover more quickly post-pandemic, as well as attract new visitors and businesses to the area.
The ex-bingo hall’s neighbouring building, Oak House, was demolished in 2018 to allow for a car park to be built, but it’s now possible that the car park and the vacant site that the bingo club demolition will create could be used to create a new civic square.
It turns out that this club closure was in fact a saving grace in more ways than one.