A PUB sat in the heart of a bustling village has enjoyed the fruits of its growing reputation.

As previously reported by the Star, a growing mix of independent venues has made Rainhill a more vibrant place to be, which has encouraged more residents to visit or stay local.

Although some are concerned that business does not flow too much away from the village's central area, many pubs, cafes, and restaurants have felt the benefits of increasing traffic in Rainhill.

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St Helens Star: Inside the Station Street boozerInside the Station Street boozer (Image: St Helens Star)
One of the venues that has enjoyed a boost in trade in recent years is the Commercial Hotel pub, on Station Street, which won a coveted CAMRA award for its real ale focus earlier this year.

Mark Woodward, who has worked in the pub industry for 23 years, said: "We have had really good regular business recently, and it feels like there is something for everyone in Rainhill.

"I think we are in a good spot because quite a few people come in for a drink from the train, or before they head out.

"The CAMRA award was [also] really good recognition for us, and it was great to be mentioned alongside other venues which have had a real ale focus for years."

St Helens Star: The pub also shows live sportsThe pub also shows live sports (Image: St Helens Star)
In addition to the village's mix of venues, Rainhill's varied event programme, such as the Christmas light switch on and beer festivals, also encourages more people to come out in the community and support local businesses.

Another Christmas market event took place on Station Street this weekend, which can now be pedestrianised in warmer months, and this has given a further boost to businesses like Carouse restaurant and the Commercial Hotel.

With Mark taking over the business during the difficulties of the pandemic, he also said that the good relationships he has with other businesses and the local pub watch scheme have helped to grow the Commercial as a safe place to meet and have a drink.

St Helens Star: Mark with the 'Commitment to Cask' CAMRA awardMark with the 'Commitment to Cask' CAMRA award (Image: Mark Woodward)
Mark, who is originally from Westhoughton in Bolton, added: "We have a great team here and good relationships with other businesses.

"We will try some different things but mainly we are going to keep up with what works!"

St Helens Star: Commercial Hotel, on Station Street in RainhillCommercial Hotel, on Station Street in Rainhill (Image: St Helens Star)