Nando’s chain poised to open its first High­land res­tau­rant

Thou­sands cam­paigned to have group open an out­let in north

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News - BY CALUM ROSS

The first Nando’s res­tau­rant in the High­lands will open within days as a £13mil­lion re­vamp nears com­ple­tion at the north’s big­gest re­tail park.

The pop­u­lar chain, which spe­cialises in chicken dishes, has an­nounced it is poised to serve cus­tomers at its out­let in In­ver­ness Shop­ping Park from Jan­uary 25.

A Frankie & Benny’s res­tau­rant next door opened last month, with a third fam­ily res­tau­rant also due to be built at the site.

The three restau­rants have been built at the for­mer Comet store at the re­tail park.

More than 2,200 peo­ple joined an on­line so­cial me­dia cam­paign to “Get a Nando’s in In­ver­ness” be­fore the plans were un­veiled.

Bosses at the re­tail park had hoped to have the first two restau­rants opened in time for Christ­mas, but there was a slight de­lay in the work at Nando’s.

The chain has taken on a 20-year lease on a unit at the re­tail park, at an an­nual cost of £150,290.

Work at the re­tail park got un­der way in June last year, and in­cluded an up­grade to some of the ex­ist­ing shops, a new cus­tomer ser­vices build­ing to house toi­lets and baby chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties, as well as a play area.

Bosses at the site said that 180 full and part-time jobs would be cre­ated as a re­sult of the re­vamp.

Coun­cil­lors ap­proved the plans in Jan­uary de­spite op­po­si­tion from city cen­tre busi­nesses, in­clud­ing the East­gate Cen­tre and In­ver­ness BID group, which claimed it would hurt trade in the heart of the High­land cap­i­tal.

How­ever, a pe­ti­tion urg­ing ap­proval of the three new din­ers at­tracted more than 1,200 sig­na­tures in less than 48 hours in 2015.

The city-cen­tre East­gate Cen­tre has since won plan­ning per­mis­sion to open four new restau­rants and a rooftop bar.

The Nando’s chain, which orig­i­nated in South Africa and is known for its peri peri chicken dishes, al­ready op­er­ates more than 1,000 restau­rants across the globe, with al­most 300 in the UK and Ire­land.

“Bosses at the site said that 180 full and part time jobs would be cre­ated”

Pho­to­graph: Sandy McCook

TA­BLE SER­VICE: The res­tau­rant com­plex at the In­ver­ness Re­tail Park is par­tially open as part of a £13mil­lion re­vamp of the cen­tre.

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