Milton Keynes: UK (11 July): The Treasury's decision to halve the rate of GPT to 10% is having a direct and significant impact on levels of capital investment at Europe's biggest bingo club situated in Cricklewood, north west London. The Beacon club, which has a capacity in excess of 2,200, has benefited from the first phase of a long term refurbishment programme which has included the fitting of 50,000 square feet of branded Beacon carpet and the installation of 1,254 new positions of Mechanised Cash Bingo, new table surfaces and cash boxes. The half million pound programme, which was undertaken by Leisure Technique, PFD Flooring and Seamers of Derby, was completed over a five-week period of night work without any interruption to business.
Nick Harding, CEO of Praesepe said: "This is an unequivocal and ringing endorsement of Chancellor George Osborne's decision to deliver the bingo industry its biggest prize for decades. As soon as the reduction in bingo GPT was confirmed we were able to push the button on what is only stage one of a long-term programme which will allow us to continually fine-tune our offer at the club. The initial programme has provided important business for our suppliers and their staff, it has helped us to improve the offering to our customers, which, in turn, will enhance our trading position and lead to further employment prospects in an area which suffers from unemployment levels which are above the London average."
He added: "The impact will go right through our extensive supply chain with every £1 of investment generating a multiplier effect of further investment. When the announcement was made, I went on the record to say that bingo customers throughout the country would be raising a glass to the Chancellor and I believe that the same applies to the numerous businesses and their employees both in and outside the gaming sector. Whilst the investment we are making at Cricklewood will certainly be the biggest in the Beacon chain of clubs, there will also be additional projects undertaken throughout Cricklewood's eight sister clubs, all made possible by the reduction in bingo GPT. Reducing the unfair tax burden which the previous government had imposed on UK Bingo plc means that bingo cubs all over the country are now able to reinvest and provide players with the modern facilities that they deserve at the same time as creating new jobs."