Popular pub set to re-open

New owner of the Fox & Lion in Leyland, Ann-Marie Pearson.

New owner of the Fox & Lion in Leyland, Ann-Marie Pearson.

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A Leyland pub which has been lying empty for six months is opening under new management.

The popular Fox and Lion on Towngate closed suddenly in December last year.

It has now been taken over by a new brewery and a new boss has moved in to transform the premises, with the hope that it could be open as early as next week.

Landlady Ann-Marie Pearson, 37, says she is looking forward to the challenge.

She said: “I have been in the restaurant trade for 12 years and the pub trade for seven years.

“I have just moved to Leyland from a pub in Bootle, meaning the Fox and Lion is the fourth pub that I have run.”

Work has been ongoing to transform the interior and the pub now makes up a bar area, games room and quiet room.

Ann-Marie says she wanted to return the pub to its former glory.

She said: “I looked at this pub last year and it was a bit run-down so I wasn’t sure.

“But then I took a proper look and I really wanted to get it back to being a nice pub.

“I was keen to introduce a quiet room where there are newspapers and you can sit and enjoy a tea or coffee.

“There has been a complete revamp inside.

“I’m a career woman and I always see these pubs as my babies. I’ve put all of my love and hard work into it.”

Ann-Marie says far from being happy serving behind the bar, she wants to get stuck into community life.

She said: “Everyone will have to get used to seeing me front of house but I want to get involved with the community.

“I want to help out and take part in everything that’s going on.

“We need a bit of positivity in the trade and the pub business isn’t doing too badly. I want to show people that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

The pub was previously owned by brewery Scottish and Newcastle.

Ann-Marie has recruited three members of staff and says once the business is up and running, she will be looking to take on more based on the demand from punters.

She said: “I’m running around this empty pub at the moment and I’m just so excited to get it open.

“I hope people come and see for themselves what we’re all about.”