Bingo Halls in Scotland Thrown a Lifeline after Funding Support is Introduced
After an arduous campaign by the Bingo Association, Scottish Bingo Halls can now apply for a one-off grant of up to £50,000 to save the bingo industry from collapse. The Save Scottish Bingo will fund the support after the Bingo is my Lifeline campaign raised concerns for the future of bingo halls in Scotland.
Over the past 14 months, bingo halls have received very little support whereas other hospitality industries received additional help. Mark Findlater, Troup counselor wrote a letter to Kate Forbes, the finance secretary pleading for help in order to save the much-loved industry. He asked that the industry is granted the same financial support as similar industries including cinemas.
Although the UK government provided furlough for staff, the maintenance of bingo halls still has to be met and there has been no financial help in this area. Over the past 14 months, bingo halls across the UK, Scotland, and Wales have spent the majority of time closed. Bingo halls in Scotland are expected to re-open on May 17th, after a long hard slog to keep afloat.
Keeping Communities Connected
Many people who frequent bingo halls do so first and foremost for the social aspect, the game comes second to that. It’s imperative bingo halls survive for the fundamentally friendly atmosphere people so dearly love. The isolation aspect of lockdowns has had a major effect on people’s mental health and the survival of bingo halls is of utmost importance in keeping communities connected and people socialising.
The news will come as a huge relief for independent bingo halls that have struggled during lockdown and communities alike.
Miles Baron CEO of the Bingo Association in Scotland said, “As a result of thousands of bingo players responding to our call for support, the Bingo Association in Scotland has recently been informed that our Bingo is my Life campaign has been successful, and all licensed bingo clubs in Scotland will receive a one-off grant in recognition of the challenges caused by their sustained closure over the last year.”