TWO local lads hope to put a pub back at the heart of its local community after it reopened following an £80,000 refurb and nine month closure.
Ryan Langton and Neil Turner are the names above the door at Ashton’s Old Ball Inn after deciding to take the plunge into managing a venue they have both lived near.
It reopened on Friday, September 10 after the five-figure sum was spent by owners Proper Pubs, including new fitted carpets, flooring, lighting, as well as new furnishings and a lick of paint on the outside.
Their former jobs also form part of their plans, one of which is for it to host a community defibrillator.
Ryan said: “Neil and I have both lived and worked in the area for a long time, and the focus of our business plan was to put The Old Ball right back at the centre of this community.
“I’m still actively involved in volunteer work for the nearby Broadoak and Smallshaw Community Centre and used to be a senior carer at Firbank Care Home, just down the road, so we plan to involve people from both those places in daytime activities at The Old Ball, including bingo sessions and games afternoons.”
Neil is used to having a swing at things after being a professional golfer before going into the hospitality industry, most recently spending two years working at Ashton’s Village Hotel.
Sport, however, will be a focal point as darts, dominoes and football teams have already been invited to base themselves at the Broadoak Road pub.
Matthew Gurney, operations director at Proper Pubs, said: “Ryan and Neil are a fantastic pair who will undoubtedly do wonders with this pub and ensure that it becomes the absolute heart of the community.
“The ideas they have for The Old Ball include a number of fantastic initiatives to help their community, one of which will be to help raise funds for a communal defibrillator.”