Newtongrange restaurant opening in “jeopardy”

Mohammed Akram MBE, pictured outside the former Abbey Granary Pub in Newtongrange in 2017.
Mohammed Akram MBE, pictured outside the former Abbey Granary Pub in Newtongrange in 2017.

The opening of a new Chinese restaurant and takeaway in Newtongrange is in “jeopardy”, with the property owner blaming Scottish Power.

The owner of the former Abbey Granary pub in Newtongrange, Mohammed Akram MBE, revealed that the opening of the new Tiger Inn restaurant and takeaway was under threat despite a £100,000 renovation by leaseholder Full Sky Ltd, which had hoped to open the restaurant in December.

Mr Akram, president of the Council Of British Pakistanis (Scotland), told the Advertiser that the plan had been repeatedly delayed due to Scottish Power’s “inability” to supply a three phase electric meter to the existing three phase supply.

He said: “I wrote to Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power, on January 2 raising the issue with him. Despite two reminders there has been no response.

“The company lodged the application in early October 2018 and has faced an uphill struggle to initially get the application lodged properly accepted, and now, any timescale to install the meter.

“The business is in real danger of not opening if any further significant delays occur. Scottish Power has clearly failed to meet its obligations and should voluntary offer to pay continuing losses to Full Sky Limited.

“I, as landlord, would not hesitate to raise an action against Scottish Power for recovery of losses for both parties.”

In November 2017 Mr Akram told the Advertiser he was offering the premises out to the community to run as a cafe or a restaurant. He wanted the Newbattle Road facility to be run by and for the community instead of a purely commercial venture without regards to the area’s needs. He is happy that the planned Chinese restaurant and takeaway would benefit the area.

Mr Akram added: “Tiger Inn would be extremely neighbour friendly with reduced operating hours and very restricted with food alcohol consumption. This is big change from a late opening pub. All that is now in jeopardy due to negligence by Scottish Power.”

A Scottish Power spokesperson said: “We have arranged a date for the meter to be fitted with the parties involved.”