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One of the North West’s oldest pubs to undergo ambitious £600,000 renovations

1 month ago

One of the North West’s oldest pubs to undergo ambitious £600,000 renovations
The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Planners have said ‘cheers’ to ambitious proposals to make £600,000 improvements at one of the North West’s oldest pubs. 

Work to transform The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown Village in Southport will begin this summer after Sefton Council backed a comprehensive refurbishment programme which will improve both the inside and outdoor areas. 

The Hesketh Arms has been serving local families since 1704. 

It was originally built as four fisherman’s cottages and was previously known as ‘The Black Bull’, operated in its early years by WD ‘Duke’ Sutton, the founder of Southport.

The pub provides employment for 25 local people and plays an active part in the local community.

Changes will include a beautiful outdoor area, with festoon lighting and planters; a makeover of the gents’ and ladies’ toilets; a reconfiguration of the bar to create a new cocktail station; plus brand new seating in the dining room and pub snug.

Improvements are being made at The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown in Southport.
Improvements are being made at The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown in Southport. Image: Vintage Inns

In a report, Sefton Council Chief Planning Officer Derek McKenzie said:

“The development works mainly relate to the frontage of the pub, which is already laid out with tables, chairs and other paraphernalia for the comfort of patrons enjoying food and drink outside.

“The application is supported by submitted plans identifying areas of the proposed works and a Heritage Statement detailing the historical context of the building and the proposed planters / festoon lighting and external works. 

“The planters and timber posts with festoon lighting are perhaps the most prominent element of the proposal however they are becoming a more common feature to the external areas of public houses. 

“In this instance, they cause no harm to the visual appearance of the heritage asset and the character and appearance of the conservation area would be preserved. The other works to the externalities and within the site boundary are relatively minor and acceptable.” 

There were no representations about the proposals from any of the neighbours in Churchtown. 

Work is due to begin in July before people get an opportunity to see the new-look pub at the start of August. 

Hesketh Arms landlord Dave Langshaw said:

Dave Langshaw, the landlord of The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown in Southport, is taking part in the Jail and Bail fundraiser for Queenscourt Hospice.
Dave Langshaw, the landlord of The Hesketh Arms pub in Churchtown in Southport, is taking part in the Jail and Bail fundraiser for Queenscourt Hospice. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

“The amount of work going into this project is huge! These are exciting times for The Hesketh Arms with a number of improvements in the pipeline.

“Our last day of service before we close for refurbishment will be on Sunday 7th July 2024 before we reopen on Sunday 4th August 2024.

“We are really keen to protect and to improve this landmark building and to restore some of its historic features.Work will be done to restore the old Hesketh Arms wrought iron sign and provide new signage in the car park.

“The outside area will look fantastic when we introduce the new planters, new garden furniture, and new festoon lighting. All the changes being made will be very much in keeping with the character and heritage of The Hesketh Arms and with Churchtown Village.

“The Hesketh Arms has a fabulous reputation already but Vintage Inns is determined to make a substantial investment to make it even better.”

Dave is a pub landlord with the local community very much at heart. 

He recently raised hundreds of pounds for Queenscourt Hospice by taking part in the 2024 Jail and Bail challenge.

Earlier this year, The Hesketh Arms collected chocolate Easter eggs for children at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool; invited customers to donate gifts for children in need at Christmas; and regularly supports Village events such as the Churchtown Christmas Fayre.

Find more information about the Hesketh Arms here.

Find all the latest Southport news here.

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