A ‘DERELICT’ bingo hall which was also previously a cinema could be turned into an “arts music centre”.

The Gala-turned-Buzz Bingo building, in Aylesbury High Street, is under review by Buckinghamshire Council, in hopes it could help to revive the local economy.

At least two investors are known to be interested in the “iconic” council-owned building, with both thought to be preparing proposals.

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The news was revealed during a Budget Scrutiny Select Committee Inquiry, on Tuesday, January 12.

According to cabinet member for planning and enforcement Cllr Warren Whyte the site was originally a Pavilion Cinema and then a Granada in 1946 before it closed in 1972.

It then became a Granada bingo hall, before changing its name to Gala Bingo in 1991, he said. Latterly, the site has been a Buzz Bingo.

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“We’ve been looking to try and get a person to take that on,” said cabinet member for town centre regeneration, Cllr Steve Bowles. “We’ve actually had two people who have looked at that building and we’re awaiting their business cases coming forward.

“There are things moving on Gala Bingo (Buzz)…I’m keen to push that forward, it’s been stood in a sort of semi-derelict condition for a number of years and it’s a big premises on the high street.

“I’m keen to try and get a use in there that’s going to draw people back into our town, perhaps something along the lines of an arts music centre [and] that’s what one of the people looking around thought to bring into the town.”

Cllr Bowles said were an arts and music venue possible in the future, it might also encourage people to linger in the high street to shop and visit places to eat and drink.

“I think that’s going to be the trick going forward,” said Cllr Bowles. “We need to get different usages within our town centres. Gala Bingo is a really iconic building in Aylesbury.”

Council officer Claire Hunter confirmed there exists a “sufficient” sinking fund inherited from the former Aylesbury Vale District Council which “could cover the maintenance costs” until a decision is taken.

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