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INTERVIEW: Historic Heysham pub to reopen as new management aims to 'bring community together'

Paul Stewart and Salvatore Lebaldi at the Old Hall in Heysham

Two friends are set to reopen a historic Heysham pub as their second venue in the Morecambe area and are hoping for more in future.

Salvatore Lebaldi and Paul Stewart have taken over the Old Hall at Heysham and will open its doors this Friday, May 17.

They already run the Bull in Morecambe, having taken over the lease at the Fisherman's Square pub earlier this year.

The Old Hall is a listed 16th century former manor house which has been run as a pub since the 1950s, and has been closed since the end of February for renovation work.

Salvatore and Paul want to use their experience of the licensed trade to give the Old Hall a boost.

Salvatore, known as Sal, runs his own security company working the doors of venues. He said they've turned the Bull around in a short space of time because they understand the issues pubs face.

LISTEN to our interview with Sal and Paul

"We're having floor laid, benches built and we're getting furniture in for the opening on Friday," said Sal.

"When we went into the Bull Hotel, it was a shell of a place. We had a challenge on our hands. We did a deep clean on it and we're now seeing it thrive.

"Every pub has its ups and downs. But we are seeing more and more people wanting to be back in the Bull. We're trying to turn these venues into safe spaces and make them family-friendly.

"We knew there were issues from the start. We worked very closely with the local community, with the police and licensing. We've assisted the police with CCTV on the building and we're also working with the police and council to put on events in Fisherman's Square to show we are a community."

The Bull is pictured below.

"I've done 10 years in security, I've done three years of running my own security business which is still healthy and living now," said Sal.

"I just saw there were so many issues in venues that people didn't see and wouldn't deal with, which I feel has put a lot of people off from going into a pub.

"So to be able to open a venue and turn it into that safe space, and welcome people who wouldn't feel welcomed in other venues, is important. We're here to bring a community together."

The Old Hall is pictured below.

Sal said they won't be stopping at just the Bull and the Old Hall, as he aims to take over other venues in future.

"We don't want to stop at two, in the future I'd definitely like to take on one in Lancaster and try to bring the student trade back up and running, and bring people in local areas, and try to grow a community in Lancaster," he said.

Paul said: "Since we've been working outside (the Old Hall) doing all the painting, everyone has been coming up and asking us what we'll be doing with the place. We've spent our time chatting to the locals and everyone seems great around here.

"Everyone is really looking forward to seeing this place grow, and this place work."

The Old Hall will hold a family fun day on Saturday May 25. All welcome.

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