Gala Bingo Hall: Kettering

Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Ceidwadwyr, Kettering

If she will meet promoters of the bid to the cultural development fund to restore the Gala Bingo hall in Kettering.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

I welcome my hon. Friend’s interest in the cultural development fund. As the application process for its fourth round is live, unfortunately Ministers are unable to meet bid promoters at present.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Ceidwadwyr, Kettering

Two remarkably talented and enthusiastic individuals from Kettering, Beccy Hurrell and Lindsey Atkins, have put together a really ambitious £2 million bid to repurpose the former Gala Bingo hall in Kettering High Street, changing it into a community arts, music and family hub, which will be transformative for Kettering town centre. Expressions of interest in the Department’s cultural development fund must be submitted by 15 March. Is there no way that I, Beccy, Lindsey and the council can meet the relevant Minister before 15 March to see whether our bid might be appropriate?

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

I congratulate the two women who are putting forward such an exciting and interesting bid for that important building on Kettering High Street. In preparing to answer my hon. Friend’s question, I looked at a potted history of Kettering’s bingo hall and I appreciate the important role it has to play in regenerating the town. I spoke to my noble Friend Lord Parkinson, as his ministerial brief covers this topic. He is happy to meet and look into the issue, but there is a question about the appropriate timing for that meeting. I noted the recent debate about levelling up. I hope the bid will be successful, but I am afraid I cannot influence that.