Tuesday, April 24, 2018

News: Rotherham bingo hall back under the hammer

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The Mecca Bingo site in Rotherham town centre is set to go up for sale at auction in London next month.

The freehold leisure investment on Corporation Street is being advertised with leading commercial property auctioneers, Allsop and has been given a guide price of £875,000 - £925,000.

The 26,000 sq ft property comprises a substantial building currently used as a bingo hall providing reception area, gaming hall and ancillary and office accommodation over lower ground, ground, first and mezzanine floors.

The property last sold in 2014, when it went for £880,000, also at auction.

The property is entirely let to Mecca Bingo Limited until 2021 at a current rent of £125,950 per annum. The tenant has the option to extend the lease.

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For the year ended June 30 2017, Mecca Bingo Ltd reported a turnover of £203.340m and a pre-tax profit of £39.807m. It is part of the Rank Group which has been struggling with a declining retail gambling environment and moves towards digital growth. For the six months ended December 31 2017, Mecca's like-for-like revenue fell by 3% due to a 7% fall in visits but the company is thought to be outperforming the market with visitors who spend more.

The building, which auctioneers say "may lend itself to a variety of uses and redevelopment subject to obtaining all the necessary consents," is situated alongside the key regeneration site in the town centre - Forge Island.

Along with the site of the Law Courts and Riverside Precinct, Rotherham Council is currently selecting a development partner for a £43m mixed-used leisure development proposal, led by a new cinema and hotel. The Forge Island redevelopment has been penciled in for completion by mid 2020.

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Originally opened in December 1934 as the Regal Cinema the building was commissioned by Thomas Wade Cinemas Ltd of Wath-upon-Dearne, and designed by Messrs Blackmore and Sykes, Architects, of Hull. It had seating for 1,825, and was fully equipped for stage performances with three dressing rooms, and a theatre organ.

The site became the Odeon in 1946 and the café was turned into a Victor Sylvester ballroom in the 1960s. The cinema was taken over by Rank in 1975 and renamed La Scala. It showed its last film in 1983. It opened up for bingo as the Ritz, but was then taken over by Mecca Bingo.

The auction takes place at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge on May 15.

Allsop website

Images: Allsop

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