Sporting new chance at pub after big investment

General manager Craig Mason with bar staff Natalie Shorrocks and Sian Stewart enjoying a laugh with 'Del Boy' aka Steve Rooney at the opening of the New Albert sports bar
General manager Craig Mason with bar staff Natalie Shorrocks and Sian Stewart enjoying a laugh with 'Del Boy' aka Steve Rooney at the opening of the New Albert sports bar

A South Shore pub has been given a new lease of life as a sports bar following a £250,000 investment.

The Albert Pub on Lytham Road has been relaunched as the New Albert and is now part of the Ma Kelly’s pub group.

I am a sports fan myself, and as a youngster I was at the Blackpool Centre of Excellence for football but unfortunately two knee operations put paid to my football career

The pub has had a chequered past and in 2013 Blackpool Council reviewed its licence, adding a number of new conditions following a spate of police incidents.

But the new operators say they aim to be part of the community and hope the investment will help regenerate that part of South Shore.

General manager Craig Mason, 33, who was formerly a manager at the Litten Tree on Queen Street, Blackpool, said: “The investment will really help to regenerate this area and I am buzzing with ideas for the new pub.

“I am a sports fan myself, and as a youngster I was at the Blackpool Centre of Excellence for football but unfortunately two knee operations put paid to my football career.

“We are round the corner from Bloomfield Road and aim to be a ‘home’ pub for football fans.

“There will be free pool, free snooker, darts and a free jukebox and we have 11 televisions which will show all kinds of sport including football, tennis, golf, cricket and rugby.

“We also intend to have pub teams and football teams, for men and women.

“Closing time will be 12 midnight because it is a residential area.”

The walls of the pub are also hung with sports memorabilia including shirts signed by football teams including the Brazilian national side.

The premises have been opened out to create one large room and a lounge area for those drinkers wanting to drink in a quieter area.

In 2013, a council licensing panel attached new conditions to the licence including that CCTV equipment had to be installed.

Councillors said they were happy changes had been implemented by the pub’s then parent company Enterprise Inns.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard attended the official opening during his recent visit to Blackpool.

The premises are the latest to come under the Ma Kelly’s banner.

The company already has another venue on Lytham Road, and premises at Foxhall Road and Talbot Road in Blackpool, and in Fleetwood.