A popular bingo hall in Coalville, Leicestershire is preparing to reopen its doors in May 2021 after managing to survive two national lockdowns. However, its owners say that any last-minute changes to the easing of lockdown restrictions could force it to close for good.
Palace Bingo in Coalville’s Jackson Street is run by three generations of the same family and its director, Peter Woolley, says that they can’t wait to welcome their customers back.
However, Mr Woolley is the first to admit that the club has faced uncertain times since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 and the ensuing local and national lockdowns
Under normal circumstances, the venue welcomes up to 200 customers a day, many of whom appreciate the social benefits of playing bingo. However, the club was forced to close its doors twice last year, and the loss of income took its toll and even forced a fellow bingo club out of business.
The Woolleys own several bingo halls in the Midlands, all of which are run by members of the family including Mr Woolley’s 15-year-old son Harry.
They say that if it hadn’t been for them having funds to fall back on after “a good couple of years’ worth of trading”, they wouldn’t have been able to cope with the losses of £6,000 to £7,000 a week that the Coalville club was incurring.
The family has also made every effort to ensure that the venue is safe for customers to visit, with tables being marked off so that players are two metres apart and staff cleaning all communal areas regularly.
It’s brilliant to see that this independent, family-owned bingo club has managed to stay in business considering the financial hardships that the industry has suffered. Even big British bingo brands like Mecca Bingo and Buzz Bingo have had to resort to closing some of their less profitable clubs as a result of the pandemic.
We wish Mr Woolley and his family all the best for their reopening in May 2021.