PADDY Cronin hopes plans for a new bingo hall in Sunderland will clickety-click with council chiefs.
Edward Thompson Ltd has applied for permission to build a new hall on the site of the former reservoir for its paper mill, next to the Asda store at Leechmere.
Thompson’s produces bingo materials from cards to dabbers and has worked with customers to develop bingo halls all over the world.
But this will be the first it has been involved with on home turf.
The firm will build the new hall and then sell it on to one of its clients, in a move managing director Paddy says will be good for the Wearside economy.
“Our subcontractors are in Sunderland, so the building, the electrics, the plumbing will mostly be done by Sunderland companies,” he said.
“And bingo halls employ a lot of people , so we would be looking at the full-time equivalent of up to 70 jobs.”
Paddy believes a new bingo hall is the perfect use for the former reservoir site.
“If we can create a new facility for the community and it employs local people, then it is good for everybody.
“It is close to a residential area, so staff won’t have far to travel but it is not going to disturb anyone, and it is next door to Asda, so there are four bus stops right outside.
“It will look good, so it will improve what is a bit of an eyesore at the moment and will attract a good employer.
“I hope it is going to be a good regeneration opportunity for the town and will also help us because we will make money from the development and we will get a new customer.”
The firm has extensive experience, though usually working in partnership with other companies.
“We have built bingo halls in the Florida Everglades, in Sun City in South Africa and in the centre of Moscow,” said Paddy.
“We have built them in some strange places, though it has mostly been refitting the insides of existing buildings.
“This is the first one that is out land and out project from the very beginning.”