Ashton-under-Lyne’s Old Ball bounces back with new operators and an £80k makeover

Two new operators have vowed to put a Greater Manchester pub back at the heart of the local community, following major work to modernise it.

Ryan Langton and Neil Turner have both lived and worked near The Old Ball Inn for many years, and want to see it bounce back as a focal point for people living in and around Broadoak Road, in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Regulars and new customers will get a chance to see the changes that have been made when the popular community pub reopens Friday 10th September.
Owner Proper Pubs has backed the pair at their first pub as operators by spending £80,000 to completely facelift the market town community venue, which has been closed for nine months. Works to the pub include an exterior repaint and complete reworks to the pub’s interior decor. New fitted carpets, flooring, lighting, as well as new furnishings, have been installed to make The Old Ball Inn feel warm and welcoming for new and returning locals. Proper Pubs, the Operator Managed platform of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, which owns more than 130 local, community pubs across England, Scotland and Wales.
Ryan Said: “Neil and I have both lived and worked in the area for a long time, and the focus of our business plan was to put The Old Ball right back at the centre of this community and, with its support and investment, Proper Pubs has certainly given us a solid platform on which to do that.
“I’m still actively involved in volunteer work for the nearby Broadoak & Smallshaw Community Centre, and used to be a senior carer at Firbank Care Home, just down the road, so we plan to involve people from both those places in daytime activities at The Old Ball, including bingo sessions and games afternoons.”
A former professional golfer, Neil has hospitality industry experience waiting tables and working behind a bar as a teenager, was at the Trafford Centre’s All Bar One for a year, and most recently spent two-years working at Village Hotels’ Manchester Ashton.
Ryan and Neil plan to bring back weekend entertainment to The Old Ball Inn, including a hugely popular Sunday quiz, along with community-led events throughout the week. And local darts, dominoes and football teams have already been invited to base themselves at the pub.
Matthew Gurney, Operations Director, Proper Pubs said: “Ryan and Neil are a fantastic pair who will undoubtedly do wonders with this pub and ensure that it becomes the absolute heart of the community. The ideas they have for The Old Ball include a number of fantastic initiatives to help their community, one of which will be to help raise funds for a communal defibrillator.
“Proper Pubs will now offer Ryan and Neil all of its community pub knowledge and expertise to help them make it the go-to hub for local people once more.”