Residents of Aylesbury are battling Buckinghamshire Council's planned £4 million demolition of the former Gala Bingo Hall.

An action group, boasting more than 200 locals, has launched a petition opposing the redevelopment, which has already garnered about 400 signatures.

The petition launched following a Council meeting on May 7, 2024.

The Council, as documented in their minutes, has arranged for the re-channeling of funds, worth just over £4 million, from planned work in both Kingsbury and Market Square.

These funds are to be used for the regeneration of the High Street.

Initial funding of £1.3 million has been set aside for the demolition of the site.

The Council's current plans include extending the Exchange Street Car Park, generating a new pathway to High Street, and constructing temporary space for small businesses. However, these plans have been met with resistance.

The majority of residents and local councillors are firmly against the council's proposed 'regeneration.' 

The Gala Bingo Hall site is no stranger to controversy.

Back in 2018, upon the Gala Bingo's announcement of closure, a similar petition was started.

Proposals for alternative uses of the building, such as transforming it into a music venue or a place for community businesses, were not taken up by the council.

Buckinghamshire Council bought the site over a decade ago.

This acquisition was part of their Waterside plan, which included the 2011 demolition of the Civic Centre, Reg Maxwell Swimming Pool, Multi-story Car Park, and later, The Ship Inn, Jacksons Bakery, and part of the County Hall in Walton Street.

It also led to the construction of Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire University Campus, and The Exchange.

However, in 2020, some businesses showed interest in the Gala Bingo site.

Council Leader, Martin Tett, mentioned the "Regents Street Disease" affecting the site as the key reason why the council has decided to proceed with the demolition before locating a source to establish permanent structures on the site.

The building was vandalised in 2023 and further secured later that year.

Despite the revealed plans, local residents do not wish for the erasure of their heritage.

They hope to repurpose the existing building and protect the landmark entrance on their beloved High Street.

"You can join the petition to save the building," said an action group member.

They said: "We propose repurposing this disused theatre as a music/social venue which will help regenerate Aylesbury’s flagging High Street.

"By preserving this historic site, we can create an affordable space for local artists and community events, fostering cultural growth and economic revitalisation."

The link is available online for those looking to aid in preventing the demolition.

Visit to sign the petition.