TOWN centre Irish pub Punch Tarmey's is to launch a new first-floor bar and function room thanks to an extra £250,000 investment.

The Mikhail Group has announced the latest investment, with the new bar and function room to open this Friday (December 7). The facilities can be hired privately for function and events.

Punch Tarmey's, on Westfield Street, was launched by businessman Andrew Mikhail in December last year, following an original investment of £500,000.

The premises also has an outside cafe area.

The venue is a few hundred yards away from the site to the former Sacred Heart Church and Club, where Mr Mikhail's great-grandfather Michael Tarmey, a champion boxer of the early 1900s used to spend time, the inspiration for the name 'Punch Tarmey'.

Andrew Mikhail said: "As a local lad I am delighted to show my continued faith in the area, the function room is ideal for any type of occasion and with space for up to 80 guests, I am delighted once again to have created more local jobs for local people."

Hannah McGuire, pub manager, added: "I am proud to run such a fabulous pub in the heart of St Helens and I look forward to launching our Punch Tarmey’s food menu in early 2019, which has classic Irish dishes and a fantastic burger selection."

Punch Tarmey’s also has venues in Liverpool and Southport and welcomes more than 3,000 people per week into its venues.

The Star reported in October that Mr Mikhail hopes to open up 20 Punch Tarmey's venues across the north west over the next three years.