A FORMER town centre pub – which is a Grade II listed building – has been bought by an entrepreneur who owns a number of food and drink venues in St Helens.

Ian Pitts has purchased The Counting House site and associated buildings on Hardshaw Street in the town centre.

The venue, a former bank, has had a number of guises in the past, including the Forum bar in the 90s.

The Counting House closed in 2015 and the building has stood dormant since.

Mr Pitts has confirmed to the Star he has bought the building but he is yet to set out his plans for the site.

It is understood he believes the building, which features a striking frontage and high ceilings, has significant potential.

The businessman currently owns the Imperial Bar, The Church, Cork & Dough and the Secret Garden in St Helens and pumped significant investment into the town centre's food and drink sector.

He also bought The Citadel building earlier this year and is also developing the Imperial Food & Drink Quarter on Brook Street, which is under construction and set to open before the end of the year.