WORK to restore a landmark Newport pub in time for the Ryder Cup is now underway.

The Old Rising Sun, situated on the Harlequin roundabout in Shaftsbury, has been derelict since it was gutted by a fire in 2007.

But now with help from a £172,800 Assembly grant and private funding from landlord Mafiz Ali, the iconic building is to get a £500,000 makeover to transform it into a fine dining Indian restaurant.

Mr Ali’s consultant Mabs Noor said external restoration work including a new roof, windows, restoration of the buildings original facade and a first floor terrace is expected to be completed in July.

It is then hoped the two-floor restaurant will be open in time for the October 1 to 3 golf tournament, creating between 15 to 20 jobs.

The top floor of the three-storey, 5,000 sq ft building will also be turned into student bed sits.

Mr Noor, who has been involved in the redevelopment of the pub for three years said that as well bringing new employment he hopes it will encourage other businesses to invest in Newport.

He said: “Mr Ali is proud of it and is asking the people of Newport to be proud of it too.”

Newport council will make improvements to the area around building to including new paving and landscaping.

This is part of a wider city enhancement programme, funded by a £3.8 million Assembly grant, which has so far contributed to the restoration of the Transporter Bridge and improvements to key transport gateways such as the M4 junctions and Heidenheim Drive.

Newport council leader, Cllr Matthew Evans, said: “It will be fantastic to see this well-known landmark in the city centre returned to its former glory. This is great news for Newport from an economic, historical and aesthetic point of view.”