An online petition designed to pressure the Rank Group into selling a Mecca
bingo hall in Taunton has been met with stiff opposition from operators.
A group that had attempted to have a bingo hall in Taunton turned into a mixed entertainment venue has been told in no uncertain terms that it has no chance in the endeavour.
The Mecca Bingo branch has been the subject of an online petition that sought to reclaim the space for new uses.The operator has responded firmly in the face of this and categorically stated that the venue is not up for sale.
“We have no plans to sell the Mecca Bingo Taunton building. We have a thriving bingo business in Taunton with thousands of very happy customers who visit us frequently,” said Davina Warden, general manager of the bingo hall.
“However,we do host lots of different events at Mecca Bingo Taunton,including the forthcoming Taunton’s Got Talent competition and we are happy to speak to event organisers to discuss hosting their events at our beautiful venue.If anyone would like to use our premises for their event,I am very happy to chat to them so please do get in touch.”
The online campaign was started by an Andrew Knutt who is hoping that if he were to amass enough support then he may be able to convince the Rank Group, owners of Mecca Bingo,“to sell the building for civic, entertainment, art and cultural use”.
It is claimed by Knutt that if the bingo hall were to be repurposed as a 100-seat venue then the premises would not only boost the local economy, but provide a crucial community centrepoint.
“For decades Taunton has had no venue of a size that attracts big names,” said Knutt.
“Its town centre,like many, has seen decline.The night time economy is minimal, the cultural offer is small and a high percentage of the population leave Taunton Deane to experience culture elsewhere.
“We care about this, we care about Taunton,its quality of life and its future and we know that this can be changed with an asset that used to be the civic pride of Taunton – and that is the Mecca bingo hall.”
He added: “It’s important we reclaim this building and make Taunton a great place for things to do and live in,that reignites the town centre and nightlife, that brings people from afar who spend money with local businesses,but more importantly brings great entertainment to Taunton and provides a hub for civic activity and a place for people to meet friends and community.”
Similar attempts to repurpose the premises were rebuffed in 2010 and owners of the hall have been similarly defiant this time round going as far as to claim hat news of the petition has upset customers.