Former pubco executive Simon Price has launched the first of a new chain of upmarket venues. Price, ex-retail director of the Devonshire Group, has spent £150,000 on an ambitious refurbishment of the Dog & Otter at Great Harwood, near Blackburn. His new company, Ice Blue Inns, has initial plans to open 10 similar venues across the north west. Price's experience in the industry includes developing a number of pub schemes as director of interior designers Maddocks, most notably for Lancashire-based Honeycombe Leisure, which acquired Devonshire three years ago. Price said: "I want to utilise my skills as a designer and operator of managed pub sites to develop Ice Blue Inns. The re-opening of the Dog & Otter was a massive undertaking but with its blend of contemporary style and traditional emphasis on service, we have managed to create a venue that has been exceptionally well received." The Dog & Otter is a Jennings Brewery-owned pub that is part of the company's newly-launched InnVentures leased operation.