Former Arnold School Students Unite To Rejuvenate Well-Known Blackpool Pub

A treasured pub on the outskirts of Blackpool has benefited from a £350,000 investment by Greene King Pub Partners to restore it to its former glory.

The Burlington in Lytham Road – which has been renamed the Spen Dyke – reopened on Friday 12 July to the public and the new man at the helm is there thanks in part to a remarkable connection with the former Arnold School nearby, which has now reopened as a state-of-the-art academy named after Blackpool FC legend Jimmy Armfield.

Former Arnold School pupil Karl Harrison is the pub’s general manager on behalf of Cumbria Ale & Food House Ltd, and the man who has brought him to the pub – Greene King Pub Partners business development manager Barrie Aspinall – is also a former pupil of the school.

The pub used to be a popular spot for teachers and parents to meet and Barrie even worked there for a short period when he was 18.

“When I joined Greene King around two years ago and discovered The Burlington would be one of my pubs it brought back a lot of memories,” he said.

“The pub had declined over the years and was bought by Greene King in 2016,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to investment such a significant sum in refurbishing the pub and turning it into a modern, great-looking asset for the entire community.

“The pub and the nearby school historically always had a close connection and with the school now back open with a new lease of life it’s fantastic that the pub looks like it has a bright future ahead of it as well.”

Barrie and Karl were both at the Arnold School around the same time and Karl has enjoyed a successful career managing pubs and bars around Blackpool, including recently being responsible for the No. 3 refurb and re-launch as part of the Ma Kelly’s group.

The investment at the Spen Dyke – named for the small brook that was once noted for its distinctive colour and gave Blackpool its name – has included a full internal and external refurbishment and upgrade.

Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton added: “I’m delighted we have been able to restore the Spen Dyke to its former glory. This marks another major investment in the north-west area following similarly large-scale refurbishments last year at the Old Black Bull in Preston and the Coach & Horses in Maghull, underlining our commitment as an investor in pubs and people.”