EXCITEMENT is growing after rumours that a popular bingo hall on Canvey is set to re-open under new management.

Rio Bingo Hall, Furtherwick Road, was sold in May and has remained closed since.

At the time, it was confirmed to the Echo that it had been purchased by a collection of Jewish families living on the island.

It was revealed that an unused part of the building was going to be converted into a synagogue, but the main bingo hall was available to rent.

However, according to Google, and social media, it is set to re-open next week and is listed as “re-opening on December 15 under new management”.

This is yet to be confirmed, however excitement and confidence is growing as rumours continue to spread.

Ray Howard, a former long-standing councillor on Canvey, said if the rumours were true, it would be fantastic.

He said: “I would be delighted if it is true.

“It was a very, very popular place. Rio Bingo had been very successful there over the years.

“People were so upset when it closed. I know many people looked forward to going up to the bingo there where they were able to meet and make many friends.

“I was upset when it closed as a cinema too – that was when I was growing up, and I was lucky to have it.

“I do believe the Canvey community would be very, very pleased if this news is true, and it re-opens as a bingo hall.”

The building initially started out as a community cinema in the 1930s, prior to the Second World War.

The last film was shown in 1976, before it was converted into a social club, which had been hosting bingo ever since.

Dave Blackwell, Canvey councillor and leader of Castle Point Council, hadn’t heard about a re-opening.

But added: “If it is true, it is great news.

“It is such a great place for people to meet up and enjoy the bingo.”