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Pub facing closure five years ago named best in the country

The pub was boarded up for closure five years ago but has been praised for welcoming people from all walks of life.

A pub which was boarded up for closure five years ago has been named the best in the country after reopening, with plans to build a microbrewery.

The Cricketers Arms in St Helens, Merseyside won the Pub Of The Year title from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which praised its selection of 13 locally-sourced cask ales and up to 20 ciders in the summer.

The pub hosts regular beer festivals, quizzes, karaoke and other events and has opened a whiskey and gin bar.

Owner Andy Evans said:”We’ve done everything we can to make this a welcoming community pub and still have exciting developments ahead of us.

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The Cricketers Arms in St Helens (Camra/PA)

“As well as expanding the beers available, we created a beer garden and put greens in the ground, and have big plans to install a microbrewery this year.”

Paul Ainsworth, of Camra, said: “In less than five years, Andy and Denise have converted a boarded up pub on the brink of closure into a true destination pub for beer lovers across the country.

“What impressed me the most is that the Cricketers is a genuine community pub where people from all walks of life come together to socialise. It is a shining example of how a pub, which seems destined for closure, can have its fortunes turned around when in the right hands.”

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