A FORMER nanny is loving her new lease of life as the new landlady of a popular micropub.

After working as a nanny for 17 years, Mel Smith decided to go back to work in the community after she had a son of her own to raise.

Gaining a job at the Taphouse on Market Street in Atherton, Mel became a friendly face behind the bar and is now the micropub's landlady after the previous owners retired.

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Leigh Journal: Mel is the new landlady after working behind the bar for two yearsMel is the new landlady after working behind the bar for two years (Image: Mel Smith)

While she has only been in control of the micropub for a few weeks, Mel said that the business has been thriving along a high street that seems to be on the rise.

Despite a lack of external investment along Market Street, local business owners have helped to change its fortunes around with venues such as the Taphouse, the Snug, the Cabinet, and the Plaza attracting customers from across the borough.

Mel said: "Business has been booming since I took over, and I think that's helped by there being so many good venues along the high street.

"There's a great community spirit in Atherton where everyone wants to help each other and support local businesses.

"I have a passion for real ales so after working here for two years, I thought why not go for it once I knew that the owners were retiring."

Leigh Journal: Taphouse customers at Leigh Leopards' homecoming paradeTaphouse customers at Leigh Leopards' homecoming parade (Image: Mel Smith)

Although things seem to be improving in Atherton, thanks to the investment of local business owners, Mel agreed that things could further improve with the resumption of the full V2 service from Manchester and the trial of a pedenstrianised street to invite people to eat and drink outside.

With the Taphouse benefitting from the scenes of Leigh Leopards' trophy parade down Market Street last weekend, Mel also hopes to be included in further community events such as the Atherton Carnival.

With a wide range of changing cask ales and other offers, the Taphouse is open every day from 2pm, apart from Tuesdays.