320-year-old pub set for £600,000 transformation

A Grade II-listed Liverpool city region pub has been quenching the thirsts of its punters since 1704 and is to undergo a £600,000 transformation. Andrew Brown reports

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


One of the most historic pubs in Southport will enjoy a £600,000 transformation this summer.

The Grade II-listed Hesketh Arms, on Botanic Road in Churchtown Village, will be refurbished by owners Vintage Inns with customers soon able to enjoy a number of improvements.

Changes will include a new outdoor area with festoon lighting, planters and outdoor speakers, a makeover of the toilets and a reconfiguration of the bar to create a new cocktail station. There will also be new seating in the dining room and pub snug.

Originally built as four fisherman’s cottages, the Hesketh Arms was converted into a pub in 1704. It was previously known as ‘The Black Bull’ and was operated in its early years by WD ‘Duke’ Sutton, the founder of Southport. It employs 25 people.

Hesketh Arms landlord Dave Langshaw said: “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, July 7, before we reopen on Sunday, August 4. 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, new festoon lighting, and speakers in the doorway to provide some background music,” added Dave

“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 recently signed up to take part in the 2024 Jail and Bail challenge to raise funds for Queenscourt Hospice. He is among a dozen local people who have agreed to be ‘locked up’ and complete a number of fun challenges in the fun charity initiative.


Dave Langshaw
Dave Langshaw, the landlord of The Hesketh Arms. Picture by Andrew Brown / Stand Up For Southport


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.

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A planning application has been submitted to Sefton Council by Boyer, on behalf of the owners.

In their submission, Boyer said: “The proposed alterations will not compromise the aesthetic, architectural or historic interest of the public house and shall maintain the operation and trade through the provision of a high-quality scheme that is sensitive to its surrounding context.”

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

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