11 May 2016

Jobs boost from bingo hall’s new life

An empty Brighton bingo hall could be turned into a base for one of the city’s top employers – safeguarding 200 jobs and creating 50 more.

The council’s planning committee today (May 11 2016) approved a change of use for the former Beacon bingo hall on the Fairway Trading Estate, Moulsecoomb Way.

It would be used for a range of functions by Custom Pharmaceuticals, one of Brighton & Hove’s top 30 private sector employers. 

A report to the committee said the move would allow the company to invest around £20m into the local economy, while boosting their productivity. 

The company said it would employ an additional 50 people as a result.  It currently has 200 staff operating from premises in Conway Street, Hove, and another building adjacent to the Moulsecoomb site.

Consent just granted would allow the building to be used for mixed manufacturing, offices, warehousing and research.  It also permits external alterations for new doors, windows and a front entrance.

A travel plan has been agreed by the council and the firm.  Among its requirements are changes to the car park to enable pedestrians and cyclists to have easier access.  There would also be a real-time bus services display within the building to help staff to get home.  New or transferring employees will get one-week bus taster tickets and travel information packs.

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Julie Cattell said:  “One of our key planning policies is aimed at retaining current jobs and creating new ones. This is a big local employer which we can help expand further by allowing this change of use.  I’m pleased we can help end the company’s five year search for premises and at the same time free up an important development site near Hove station.”