WEYMOUTH'S Buzz Bingo hall is to close permanently - as local entertainment venues struggle to survive in the wake of the pandemic.

The Crescent Street venue has been temporarily closed since March 21 amid Government restrictions on entertainment premises.

Now, national chain Buzz Bingo said its Weymouth club is one of 26 to be permanently closed across the UK due to the 'significant effect coronavirus has had on the entire leisure and hospitality industry.'

In a statement, Chris Matthews, CEO of Buzz Bingo said: "While we are planning the phased reopening of our clubs from August 6, as many of you will understand, with our clubs closed since March 21, coronavirus has had a significant impact on our business and on the entire leisure and hospitality industry. We have therefore had to make some difficult decisions about how we move forward and ensure that we protect the future of Buzz Bingo.

"It is, therefore, with sadness that I need to share with you that 26 of our clubs will not reopen, and will close permanently in a proposed restructure of our retail business.

"Our Buzz Bingo community means the world to us, and we know how disappointing this news will be – especially for those of our customers who are losing their local club, and of course, our colleagues – we know that we are more than just a club, we are part of your community, and for that, I am really sorry.

"We could never have expected this outcome when we closed our doors on March 21, but the coronavirus crisis is a completely one-off event. The decision to restructure our club portfolio is the right way to secure our long-term future and make sure that we can still bring bingo to our customers in the majority of our clubs around the country and online at buzzbingo.com."

The Echo has contacted Buzz Bingo to enquire what the future holds for staff at the Weymouth branch.

Meanwhile, the company has stated that customers with credit on their accounts will be able to claim their money back.

To request a refund contact Buzz Bingo's customer service team between 10am and 10pm by email at support@buzzbingo.com, or you can use its online chat facility by visiting buzzbingo.com