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The Rose & Crown in Poulton is a ‘thriving community space’

ByReport2

Nov 19, 2023

A Wirral pub has been transformed into a thriving community space that offers a wide range of services to local people.

Since taking ownership of The Rose & Crown in Poulton in November last year, former Merseyside Woman Of The Year Michelle Leatham has completely turned the pub around.

The Rose & Crown Community Hub, as it now known, is situated on Poulton Road, Wallasey.

It is still described as a 'traditional pub' and has been subject to a refurbishment.

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It now has two pool tables and a big screen showing all live sport.

There is also now food, regular live music featuring the likes of X Factor’s Anthony Russell, bingo, quizzes, huge community events and pool and darts teams that have won leagues.

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What makes the pub unique, however, is the amazing community outreach that it offers.

Since taking ownership of The Rose & Crown in Poulton in November 2022, former Merseyside Woman Of The Year Michelle Leatham has completely turned the pub around (Image: Justin Hopper)After 12 months of hard work and collaborations with Wirral Council and Stars & Bars Pubs, the pub is now a community hub and CIC that bridges gaps in the local community in a huge way.

For the past year, the pub has been offering a social supermarket twice a week, coach trips and days out for children to places such as Gulliver’s World, £1 meals for children, after school clubs, free Christmas hampers and more.

The pub also offers free venue hire for special occasions and is an official ‘Warm Space’ for people to seek refuge and save on their energy bills.

Inside The Rose & Crown in Poulton (Image: Justin Hopper)Michelle Leatham said: “It’s been a lot of hard work this past year — from refurbishing the pub to all the events and community projects — but everyone has been on board and I’ve had great support from the council, the brewery and the local community.

"Everyone has chipped in, from The Prince’s Trust helping improve the courtyard to regulars helping organise events."

She continued: "I previously ran Building Bridges CIC and when I took this pub on in 2022 the idea was always to transform it into a community hub.

Since taking ownership of The Rose & Crown in Poulton in November 2022, former Merseyside Woman Of The Year Michelle Leatham has completely turned the pub around (Image: Justin Hopper)"I wanted to change the way a pub is seen in the local community — not just a place to drink and socialise but somewhere that can have a real impact on the area and people around it."

Michelle said the feedback from locals has been overwhelming, with many saying it’s transformed the area.

The social enterprise has made such an impression that it has been selected for filming by ITV for Jane McDonald’s Christmas Carol and with Coronation Street star Jodie Prenger — with Anthony Russell to return on December 8 for a free Christmas Appeal event which will see big raffles.

Community activity taking place inside The Rose & Crown in Poulton (Image: Justin Hopper)One of the locals, Paul Hunter, said: "Michelle has totally turned the pub around and the community is back together — there’s a real sense of togetherness now.

"The pub does a lot for the community are there are a lot more events — it’s really great to see and great for the area.”

After a thoroughly successful 12 months in charge, Michelle has further plans for the pub to benefit the local community — introducing holistic therapy services and mental health groups.

The idea is to be far more than just a pub and fill the gaps where the cost of living, poverty, mental health issues and crime are all on the rise.

Michelle said: "This Christmas will be particularly hard for many, so we’re offering things such as an Elf Disco and Breakfast With Santa for the kids at a really low cost, £1 kids meals, free Christmas hampers and free Christmas dinners.

"Then in the new year I want to take things to the next level and have more wellbeing and support groups on offer for people."

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