CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep a beloved bingo hall open in Ellesmere Port have sought the help of the MP.

Ann Auld, who has already amassed more than 300 signatures for a petition to save Mecca Bingo, had a meeting with Justin Madders on Thursday last week.

She said Mr Madders was aware the facility was popular but had not realised the extent to which it had become a valued community asset over the past 40 years.

The Standard reported last week that customers had been left devastated by news that the bingo hall on Marina Drive faced closure with the possible loss of 21 jobs.

Mr Madders told The Standard he was due to speak to Mecca Bingo managers soon to discuss the possible closure.

“I will be doing my best to persuade Mecca Bingo that at the very least there should be a stay of execution to keep the place going for a while longer,” he said. “It seems to be a very short period of time to make such a drastic decision.”

He added: “I want to have a conversation about how to keep the place going if possible and to find out what’s behind any decision to close.

“There is no doubt that for many people this is a lifeline and allows them to get out and keep in touch with the rest of the community.”

Ann, 74, said she had already amassed more than 300 signatures and had set up a petition online that people can sign.

She said: “Since your press coverage I’ve had people coming up to me in the streets to talk about it. The public are just devastated.”

Speaking of her meeting with Mr Madders, she added: “He was astounded. He said he knew it was a welcoming club but he didn’t realise they do as much as they do.”

Despite customers being told Mecca Bingo would be closing, a spokesman said it was not a done deal.

In a statement, he said: “It is with regret that we are reviewing the situation at Mecca Bingo Ellesmere Port.

“We will be working with all our team members in Ellesmere Port over the coming weeks to consider options. No decision has yet been made on the future of the club."

However, Mally Birch, son of the Port’s late fundraising legend Billy, said he had been told the facility was closing.

The family had wanted to install a life-saving defibrillator machine outside the building in Billy’s memory but were told they would have to find another location.

Billy raised more than £113,000 for a host of causes in the area over 26 years and was a big bingo fan.

Mally said: “My dad felt so at home every time he went to the bingo hall not only to play but he had a real connection with everybody that went there.

“He would be turning in his grave right now, knowing that the club he and so many other people love could be closing down.”

* To sign the petition to save the bingo hall visit