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Beacon Bingo closure in Margate result of 'significant trading losses'


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Bosses say the shock announcement to close a popular bingo venue is due to "significant trading losses".

Beacon Bingo in Margate will call time next month after nearly 30 years in the town.

Stunned players and members reacted in disbelief when the news was announced last week and have launched a last-ditch effort to revive the business.

Beacon Bingo in Margate is set to close (7458555)
Beacon Bingo in Margate is set to close (7458555)

But one of the bosses at the firm's parent company, Praesepe, says the financial losses in previous years have proved too much and thanked staff for their service.

Mark Schertle, chief operating officer, said: "The outstanding contribution of all Praesepe staff and management at this club for over seven years has enabled us to provide a great service to the local community.

"Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the bingo club has made a significant trading loss for the past few years."

But the company has denied suggestion landlords terminated Beacon's lease and insisted the decision was purely based on its financial performance.

It comes as members launched a petition to convince managers to reopen the bingo hall somewhere else in Margate.

The company says its 25 employees now facing redundancy will be consulted to "explore ways of avoiding and minimising the potential risk" of job losses.

A spokesman said the company will be making "every effort to seek redeployment" with the Praesepe Group.

Beacon Bingo in Margate petition to keep venue open (7532319)
Beacon Bingo in Margate petition to keep venue open (7532319)

They added the company had no plans to relocate or downsize the bingo hall elsewhere in Margate but new roles could be found at the Cashino and The Fabulous Showboat venues, which Praesepe operates in the buildings next door.

The company said it would relocate its teams to its other businesses "where possible".

A spokesman told KentOnline: "All our venues cater to the local community and we do not take any decisions to propose closures lightly.

"The financial losses for Beacon Margate have been ongoing for a number of years despite the best efforts of the team. The response from our members are a testament to how hard our teams work.

"We are looking at all options and are in consultation with the teams into how we could move things forward.

"Whilst Cashino and the Fabulous Showboat are unaffected by this announcement we hope we can still provide a place for our loyal customers to visit."

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