Old Gala Bingo Hall Gets a Second Chance to Shine After a Series of Misfortunes
If you live anywhere near the quaint town of Kettering, UK, you’re likely familiar with one of the fixtures populating its high street. Of course, we’re talking about the old Gala Bingo Hall. Unfortunately, the building hasn’t had a share of good fortune in the past few years. After closing down in 2018, the property has seen nothing but trouble. From petty vandalism to break-ins to some insane cannabis-related happenings, the old gal has seen it all!
While it’s clear this building is in desperate need of some TLC, it seemed as if no one was willing to step up to the plate and do something to restore this beautiful property to its former glory. Thankfully, this seems to have changed in recent months! The old Gala Bingo Hall might not be reopening its doors in the same capacity, but it might offer the people of Kettering a new gem to visit frequently.
From Bad to Worse
After acquiring the Gala properties back in 2018, Buzz Bingo was left with the tough choice to either reopen them or close them down. Unfortunately, this building didn’t make the list of Bingo Halls that would continue operating under the new brand’s leadership. Since then, the building has been vacant.
Even more bad news came to light not long after. It seemed the building wasn’t as vacant as many had thought. The property was a frequent sight for break-ins and vandalism, leaving it a ghost of its former self. What’s worse, a 3 million Pound haul of cannabis plants was discovered inside the building following a tip-off. The police raided the property in 2019, leading to the shocking discovery.
During all of this, the people of Kettering didn’t stay silent. The old Gala Bingo Hall building might not have been what it once was, but it still had historic value. Campaigners didn’t stop advocating for its preservation at any point.
A Spark of Hope
A spark of hope for the old bingo hall ignited in 2021 when a property developer submitted applications to the local council to use the building for business units and a food court with a rooftop restaurant. The rooftop restaurant part of the equation was denied, but the rest of the application was given the green light not long after the submission!
Led by the Kettering Town Centre Partnership, the restoration of the building is set to happen very soon. The site has already been worked on, mainly to remove potentially dangerous asbestos before the renovation starts. The dream future for the place is pretty simple. Open a mix of cafes, restaurants, retail shops, a gym, and various other professional and financial services people can use to relax or do some shopping.
With the plan now in motion, we don’t doubt we’ll be seeing a new shine to the old Gala Bingo Hall on Kettering’s high street. The reopening of the property as a mall of sorts is bound to bring more footfall to the town center and make the place much livelier than it’s been in a long time.