BUZZ Bingo is permanently closing 26 of its bingo halls, putting 573 jobs at risk of redundancy.
The move is part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a restructuring deal which Buzz Bingo says will help secure its long-term future.
The remaining 91 clubs will continue to trade, with plans to start reopening from August 6.
Buzz Bingo will need to secure approval for the plan from creditors at a meeting on August 3.
The company, which employs around 3,400 people, says it is closing its doors because of “an unsustainable operating environment for the foreseeable future”.
All of Buzz Bingo’s sites across the UK were shut on March 21 due to the Government-mandated lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The company has since looked to cut costs, reducing senior management pay and furloughing the majority of its staff.
While the bingo halls can now reopen, Buzz Bingo has said it will “take time” for footfall to return to pre-virus levels due to social distancing measures and weaker customer confidence.
Chris Matthews, chief executive of Buzz Bingo, said: “The ongoing pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for the entire leisure and hospitality sector and an immediate and significant impact on our business.
“The proposed CVA will… ensure we are well positioned for a return to growth, while adapting to the ongoing, challenging environment as we start to reopen the majority of our clubs.
“The restructure will, very sadly, impact a number of our colleagues and my priority is to support all those affected and keep them fully informed as we continue with this process.”
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said: “These situations are never easy, particularly now for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses on our high streets at the sharp end of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Buzz Bingo is just one of many businesses feeling the pinch from coronavirus.