Daniel Davies has teamed up with pub operator Punch to refurbish and reopen a pub and has acquired a number of empty buildings in seaside town’s Victoria Quarter. Tony McDonough reports
Entrepreneur Daniel Davies is spearheading a new regeneration project in Merseyside seaside town New Brighton.
The seafront at the famous Wirral location has undergone significant regeneration in recent years but Mr Davies, who has lived in the area for several years, is concerned about the decline of New Brighton’s Victoria Quarter and its old high street.
He has formed a new business, Rockpoint Leisure, which has purchased a number of empty and derelict buildings and is working on a variety of retail and hospitality concepts.
And its first venture, the relaunch of a local pub, which has opened its doors to the public in the last few days. The James Atherton, formerly The Railway, has seen a £390,000 investment from owner Punch Taverns which has partnered up with Rockpoint to relaunch the venue.
Works have transformed the pub into a ‘modern British tavern,’ and the name change is in recognition of the resort’s 19th century founder, whilst the proposition is a nod to the grassroots workers and Northern day trippers who came to New Brighton over the past two centuries.
Rockpoint intends to open a second bar/cafe venue in the area later this month and hopes both projects will serve as a catalyst for further regeneration. Mr Davies, chief executive of Rockpoint and the founder of successful Wirral training firm CPL, says he is determined to breathe new life into the Victoria Quarter.
He explained: ““As a long-standing resident of New Brighton, I have grown increasingly frustrated in seeing the decline of this part of town – from boarded-up shops, vandalism and littering, to low-level crime and even the growing isolation of parts of our community.
“I’ve wanted to do something about these issues for a while, and recently I found myself in a position where I realised I could make some tangible changes, and created Rockpoint Leisure.
“We’re looking to embrace and amplify the neighbourhood’s existing proposition of being home to a variety of small but proudly independent businesses, building on what we already have, and creating a new cultural hub for the town.”
As well as heading Rockpoint, Mr Davies is also chairman of the Institute of Licensing, chair of the National Licensing Forum, and sits on the Council and House Committee of UKHospitality.
He has recently sat on two House of Lords select committees, one focusing the 2003 Licensing Act and the second on the regeneration of British seaside towns.
The company’s development team includes key individuals with credible track records, who have been involved with a number of regeneration projects, including Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, as well as developing leading UK hospitality concepts and brands.
Punch Taverns chief executive, Clive Chesser, added: “We are pleased to be a part of such an innovative and inspirational project and have a real admiration for what Rockpoint are trying to achieve in New Brighton.”