Comic Con Liverpool Countdown 🦹

Open search Close search

Close menu


Volunteers help turn derelict former pub into a new community centre

2 years ago

Volunteers help turn derelict former pub into a new community centre

A former pub in Bootle which was once used as a huge cannabis farm has been turned into a new community centre after nine months of work by a team of volunteers.

The Linacre Pub closed around six years ago and ended up being raided by police in 2019.

But now it’s been given back to the community thanks to Conquer Life CIC who’ve taken on the building and transformed it with the help of local residents and tradespeople. 

Conquer Life, which runs projects for young people aged 8 to 18, got the keys to the boarded-up pub in January this year.

Manager Paul Melia says since then it’s been a team effort to turn it around.

“We didn’t have any funding specifically for this, so we relied on donations and people giving their time and in kind and we just went about the task,” he says.

“The building was in a really poor state when we came in at the start of the year. We needed to put a brand new central heating system in, do a total upgrade of the electrics, and it needed to be completely redecorated. Without the volunteers it wouldn’t have been possible to do it and we would never have got to this point of being able to open.”

The Linacre Community Centre will have its official launch tonight (Thurs), celebrating what Paul hopes will be the start of its new role.

“This building is in the heart of our community, and it’s got an identity and a history going back hundreds of years. For me that’s what this project has been all about – taking something that was at the centre of our community and returning it to community use.

“The Linacre used to be a place where people came together so to bring it back to that purpose is an honour for us and an exciting thing to be a part of. We want to get it full of young people and welcome back older members of the community as well. I like to think those who were patrons here many years ago might be coming in for the coffee mornings now, so it completes that whole circle.”

To make sure the centre was providing what was needed, Conquer Life invited local residents into the pub at the start of the work.

“One of the first things we did when we moved here, once the building was safe for people to be in, was hold an evening for local residents in the nearby streets,” says Paul. “They told us stories about the pub and the things the community needs and we listened to that. 

“For example, there are issues around men’s mental health and I think there’s a gap in service in that area, so that’s something to look at. I imagine an old pub setting would be a good place for men’s mental health support because it’s accessible and approachable. It’s easier to say, ‘I’m going to the Linacre’ than it is to say, ‘I’m going to the health centre or the youth club’.”

The new Linacre Community Centre will have echoes of the past, adds Paul, because they were keen to retain some of its previous identity.

“We could have just completely gutted the place but it’s about building upon the past, taking the things that were great about it and rethinking them, so we kept the original bar in the main room where we’ll now serve tea and coffee, we kept the old pool table at the back for the youth clubs, and an arcade machine and jukebox.”

Conquer Life will have its own offices at the centre, and run youth projects four evenings a week, but it also wants other services to come and make use of the venue.

“The launch is to show the community what we’ve got and then to take on other ideas, so maybe we’ll have people who want to do a breakfast club for kids here, or coffee mornings or different support services for the whole family because this is for somewhere for all ages. We can open the doors and provide the space for people to deliver what they want. 

“It’s only through the willpower of volunteers that this has happened, now we want to just deliver good things and provide good services for our community and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives here, that’s the motivation.

“Post-Covid, it’s about getting people out and socialising again. That’s a big thing with young people as well, re-establishing those in-person face-to-face relationships where you’re improving your social skills, those things are so valuable. 

“Hopefully through centres like ours people will have a reason to get out of the house and a place to get together which can only be a good thing.”


The Guide Liverpool

About Us

We showcase the very best of Liverpool City Region through stunning video features and keep residents and visitors updated on what's on and what's good. About Us

The Guide Liverpool

Meet Our Team 👋

Meet Our Team
Eurovision 2023 - Jay And Gem - The Guide Liverpool Video Production

The Guide Liverpool

Video Production & Advertising

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse quis eros sit amet mi eleifend tincidunt. Services