An ambitious regeneration project is underway in a Wirral seaside resort of New Brighton, with hospitality at its centre.
Local company Rockpoint Leisure has been set up by businessman Daniel Davies and is aiming to breathe new life into the town’s Victoria Quarter and establish it as a new cultural heart, championing its diverse independent credentials.
Rockpoint’s regeneration strategy includes the commercial revitalisation of New Brighton’s original High Street, and the company have already purchased a number of empty and derelict buildings and are working on a variety of retail and hospitality concepts which will benefit locals, as well as generating footfall from visitors.
Two of the company’s venues open this month, with the launch on March 28 of The James Atherton pub.
Formerly known as The Railway, the pub has been completely redeveloped with a significant £390k investment by the pub’s owners, Punch.
Works have transformed the pub into a ‘modern tavern,’ and the name change is in recognition of the resort’s nineteenth 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.
Working in partnership, Rockpoint Leisure and Punch have created a simple, traditional, warm and welcoming venue which is reminiscent of an age where there was a pub on every corner, offering great ales and craft beers as well as guest lines.
CEO of Rockpoint Leisure, Daniel Davies gives some background to the project and the new pub concept; “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.
“We’ve worked closely with Punch on delivering a unique concept that’s specifically designed not to cannibalise on the existing businesses in the area but to compliment and add value to the neighbourhood.”
As well as heading Rockpoint, 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.
Speaking of the project Punch CEO, Clive Chesser said:
‘’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. We are extremely proud of the work that has gone into transforming The James Atherton pub and look forward to working with Daniel and the team at Rockpoint Leisure as they grow their business over the forthcoming years.’’