A BORDERS pub that was forced to turn away hungry tourists has been granted permission to serve bar meals.

An application for amendments to the operating licence at the Exchange Inn in Jedburgh has been rubber-stamped by Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

Pub landlady Dawn Bird was losing trade, particularly from family groups, because the premises was unable to serve meals.

She has recently invested heavily in catering facilities at the pub – commonly known as The Canon – in a bid to upgrade its catering offer.

And board members have now endorsed an application to alter the watering hole’s operating plan.

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Council licensing officer Michael Wynne said: “It’s really about bringing an operating plan up to speed with one of the main things being some investment into the catering side of the premises.

“Having spoken to Mrs Bird she was explaining that she was having to turn visitors/tourists away, particularly families, because they don’t do catering. So she is wanting to do bar meals and at the same time open that service up to families and tourists.”

Ian Tunnach, representing the applicant, says: “This is really necessary because she had made various alterations to the premises and improvements.

“These are well-run licensed premises and she has invested heavily in these improvements at a time when similar town centre pubs are struggling and some of them closing their doors unfortunately due to rising costs and diminishing income so she should perhaps be applauded.”

Board member Tom Weatherston said: “I support this application. Anything that can sustain a pub to stay open, because they are closing left right and centre, I support.”