A derelict car park on Old Street, once notorious for drug crime, may soon become a ping pong centre.
The London borough of Hackney has recently received a planning application from Bounce to transform the basement of 239-241 Old Street into a table tennis club.
The proposed club would create 95 new jobs for people in the local community as it would include 17-20 tennis tables, a restaurant and a bar.
The club has set up a community access scheme encouraging local schools, charities and community groups to use the tables for free in the mornings. The scheme is endorsed by the English Table Tennis Association. Local residents were invited to a drop-in session with Bounce to discuss the application.
Hackney Council is also willing to integrate more table tennis facilities into its youth engagement and Olympic legacy programmes.
Bounce already has a successful club in Holborn, coincidentally located where the game of ping pong was invented and patented in 1901 by John Jaques III. They currently allow visitors to play on the London 2012 Olympic final table along with the official 2012 World Championship Final table.
Around London there are a few well-established places to play the game. However, if Bounce’s application is successful, they will be the first to have a chain of clubs.