altA developer from the North-East of England has his eyes on a prime piece of land on which he hopes to build a brand-new bingo hall for the local community. Paddy Cronin works for the Edward Thomson Group, as if council chiefs give his plans the nod, eager players will be getting the ball rolling at an unusual location in Sunderland. The developers want to use a site next door to the Asda supermarket on Leechmere Road to create an exciting new bingo hall. The land was previously occupied by the paper mill of a former reservoir.

The Edward Thomson Group mainly produces bingo-related products, from game cards to dabbers, pens and promotional merchandise, but also offers marketing services and graphic design, and designs and builds leisure facilities. In the past, they have worked with brands such as Gala Coral, Alea, Beefeater, Coca Cola, and Derby County Football Club to create new developments. However, this is the first time that the company has been involved in developing a new bingo hall on home soil.

If Sunderland council give their approval for the proposed club, Edward Thomson Group plans to build it before selling it on to one of its clients. Paddy Cronin is the Managing Director of the Group, and thinks that a new bingo hall is exactly what the area needs. Because the Group’s subcontractors are local, any building work, electricals and plumbing will be carried out by Sunderland companies, effectively creating the equivalent of 70 full-time jobs, according to Mr. Cronin. He thinks that the ex-reservoir site would make the perfect new home for the development, and as he hopes it will employ local people as well as provide a “new facility for the community,” the local economy will be boosted meaning everyone will be a winner.

The site is close to a residential area, making it easy for visitors and future employees to get to, and with Asda supermarket for a neighbour, the club would benefit from four bus stops on its door.

Whilst building premises on top of a former reservoir might sound like a tall order, it’s not the first time that the Edward Thomson Group has taken on the challenge. They’ve built clubs in other strange places in their time, including the Florida Everglades and Moscow.

Fingers crossed that the bingo-loving folk of Sunderland will soon have a shiny-new facility to play at. In the meantime, we want to know whether you’ve ever visited a bingo hall that’s in an unusual location?