Bolton Council has recently revealed lavish plans to turn a trio of buildings into a community hub, but you’d have thought they’d have acquired the premises in question before revealing such plans. A casino and bingo hall at the heart of their ‘digital city’ have revealed to media that they knew nothing of the proposals.
Local authority said that it had held talks with Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casino and Morrisons with regards to the acquisition.
However, the companies who lease than land…
…have said that this is not the case. A spokesman for The Rank Group who owns both establishments at the centre of the ‘digital city gate’, had this to say on the matter: “Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos have not been approached regarding any proposed future redevelopment plans in Bolton. We have two very successful businesses that serve and employ many local people. We are proud to be at the heart of the community in Bolton and intend to be here for many years to come.”
Nick Peel, the local Labour councillor raised his concerns on Friday at a cabinet meeting; “This really disturbs me because it’s at odds with what your report says. People who work on these sites will not know anything about it, including the management. No staff have been briefed. This is going to come as…
…a bit of a shock to these people. It should have been stipulated that these organisations should have been made aware of it. We are announcing our intentions to acquire these sites without these businesses knowing about it and that’s where it’s wrong. I’m just saying it shouldn’t happen like that.”
Pretty Ambitious Plans!
The news has hit the local area like a bullet, which means jobs would be lost and those looking to play bingo games, do their weekly grocery shopping and play casino games would no longer be able to do so. Although there is the option to do so online. Martyn Cox, the deputy leader defended the council saying they had followed “proper” and “normal” procedures.
He said: “It’s very difficult for us to engage with the tenants of the properties in terms of what we are going to do if the properties are going to be acquired. If you want to criticise it, be my guest, but I don’t think there’s an alternative way to do this."
It wasn’t long before a council spokesman added their comments on the whole debacle: “Our ambition is for Bolton to be at the heart of the digital economy and become a centre of innovation.We must stress that talks are at an early stage with property owners and there is a long process to go through before any decisions are made.
Once a development partner has been secured and plans have been developed for the area in question, we will work in partnership with all affected businesses as things progress. Now we have received approval from cabinet, our priority will be to draw up detailed proposals and attract a private sector developer to bring the scheme forward.”
Do you live in the area? Will the plans affect you? Let us know below.
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Bubles12 03/10/20, 09:03:11 AM
I use the bingo hall in question and find it absolutely ridiculous that they think they can just go above the company, flashing their cash about to get what they want. I hope it’s rejected.