Generous Grangemouth hotelier offers accommodation to refugees

A hotelier says the doors of his premises are wide open for all refugees if he is given permission and support to accommodate them.

By James Trimble
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:49 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 11:22 am

Nawaz Haq took over the Grangelea, in Kerse Road, Grangemouth a number of years ago, changed its name to the Helix Hotel and invested a ton of time and cash to convert it from a homeless hostel/halfway house into a completely refurbished facility geared for business people and industry contract workers.

Now Mr Haq says he is willing to commit to having his hotel be a home for refugees, whether they are fleeing from war torn Ukraine or other areas of the world.

He said: “I recently received a general enquiry on behalf of the UK Government’s Home Office on my thoughts to accommodate refugees or asylum seekers and I have stated my willingness.

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Helix Hotel owner Nawaz Haq

"My arms are open to deal with the government and local authorities to do the right thing and provide what is a clear and desperate accommodation requirement. In an ideal world, hotels are not the answer – but local housing situations mean hotels up and down the country have to be used, especially in the current pressured climate.

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"The problem is that many of these venues are often not fit for purpose as they are not designed for asylum seekers or refugees who may require accommodation for weeks if not months with supporting facilities.

“The best realistic answer is to have safe, comfortable and inclusive dedicated accommodation, but that requires investment, security and longer-term commitment by both supplier and government.

"If given the opportunity, my establishment can be specifically repurposed with suitable support and engagement facilities in place to keep residents safe and comfortable with opportunities to engage in a positive way with the community."

Over the last few years Mr Haq has allowed the Helix Hotel to be used as a venue by local charities and voluntary organisations.

"I consider myself a responsible person,” he said. “And have always in engaged in positive projects. Even through COVID-19, Helix Hotel collaborated with local community groups such as Kersiebank Community Project foodbanks and support services.

"I have engaged with these services recently and they would be willing to support my efforts and include people in their programmes.”