Go-ahead for casino plan

A multi-million-pound casino planned for Huddersfield has been given the green light by magistrates.

Casino Red was yesterday granted a licence to turn the historic former Princess Cinema into a GBP 5m entertainment venue.

The listed Northumberland Street building will offer a choice of games, including blackjack, roulette, a dedicated poker room and slots machines.

The venue will also boast a restaurant and live entertainment facilities.

At yesterday’s hearing of Huddersfield magistrates the licensing panel was told that the company’s application was no longer opposed by Folly Hall-based Grosvenor Casino, which had withdrawn its objection.

Gerald Gouriet QC, representing Casino Red, told the panel that a new casino in the historic building would be a great asset to Huddersfield.

He said: “It’s a sensational building. Much of the original features have been perfectly preserved and will be preserved when it’s turned into a casino.

“It will also offer a choice which is currently absent in Huddersfield. There is a lack of choice at the moment, and as many people don’t want to use the same casino every night they have to drive to Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield.

“The Grosvenor has a standard layout and is out of a central location.

“But the proposed casino is in a vibrant town centre location and as it’s a Grade II listed building it will provide a distinctive format and setting.”

Mr Gouriet added that the casino met the objectives set out by the Gambling Commission and was fully supported by the community.

Jonathan Truelove, chief operating officer of Casino Red, told the panel that over 120 jobs will be created by and over 100 staff will be employed full-time.

He talked the panel through plans for the layout of the casino, which will be spread over all four floors.

The basement will house a poker room, while on the ground floor there will be a reception desk and relaxation area, and the main casino floor.

The casino will hold five American roulette tables, five blackjack tables and 44 slot machine electronic roulette terminals.

On the first floor, reached via a spiral staircase and lift, there will be a bar and restaurant and stage area.

The third-floor gallery will hold a VIP or private booking area. The domed ceiling will be restored and complemented with a modern chandelier.

Granting the licence, panel chairman John Rotchel said he accepted there was a need for a casino in Huddersfield.

The casino is expected to be open in six months and its opening hours will be 2pm to 6am.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Truelove said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the decision.

“It’s a fantastic building. It will be a real boost to Huddersfield and should also bring a lot of people into the town as its a great location next to the railway.

“It will be big competition to the other casinos, as it offers something completely different.

“It’s such a unique building and as we plan to use many of its original features it will look so different to other casinos, which tend to look bland.“