Yet another fabulous Mecca Bingo Hall has made way for a supermarket, admittedly the Mecca bingo hall had not been occupied for sometime. The old Mecca Bingo hall site in Toxteth, Liverpool will now be developed in one of the biggest investment projects since the riots in 1981, the redevelopment has now been given final approval by the Liverpool Planning Committee. The cost to develop the old Mecca site is expected to be in the region of £30m and will when completed create at least 500 new jobs for the local community, of which Tesco are specifically targeting the long-term unemployed. Tesco are required to improve the local environment at a cost of £600,000.
The work at the new Tesco development is expected to start in September, when finished the store is expected to cover 9,571 sq m and will incorporate a petrol station and 537 space car park. There was a long consultation process during which time the council received only one letter raising an objection and a very small petition of 13 names which raised local concerns over traffic issues.
Jenifer Duncan, Tesco’s Corporate Affairs Manager said in a quote made on 13th October 2008 in the Liverpool Echo that “Our approach is based on our belief that neighbourhood renewal is not just about bricks and mortar but about renewing and strengthening the life of a diverse community and helping social cohesion.”
Modern technology, the smoking band and changes in leisure habits are responsible in part for the slow deconstruction of the once popular traditional bingo club. It is hoped that these once popular landmarks will be regenerated by the public’s renewed awareness brought about by online bingo sites and the increased exposure due to television advertising. Let’s look forward to the time when bingo halls will once more be a Mecca for bingo players!