Leeds & West Yorkshire

First Harry Ramsden's chip shop bought by Whaler Group

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Media captionInside the famous fish and chips restaurant

The original Harry Ramsden's fish and chip shop at Guiseley near Leeds has been saved from permanent closure after being taken over by a competitor.

The Wetherby Whaler group is planning a £500,000 refurbishment of the site to add it to its chain of outlets.

The closure of the first Harry Ramsden restaurant was announced in November by former owner Boparan Ventures.

The Whaler group is to rename the business but hopes to keep the original fish and chip shop shed at the site.

Harry Ramsden's said when the closure was announced the brand was strong nationally, but was not immune to challenging economic conditions.

'Spiritual home'

At the time, Harry Ramsden's chief executive Joe Teixeira said the Guiseley branch was making a loss and would need "considerable investment" before it could become profitable again.

Harry Ramsden's was bought by Birmingham businessman Ranjit Boparan, of Boparan Ventures Ltd, in January 2010.

There are currently 35 Harry Ramsden's restaurants in the UK, including the branch in Guiseley.

Phillip Murphy, one of the founders of the Wetherby Whaler group said: "The famous fish and chip restaurant in Guiseley is the spiritual home of fish and chips in England.

"It would be a national scandal if it were to close at this time of economic uncertainly.

"Our investment has saved a Yorkshire landmark and will ensure the tradition of fine fish and chips continues at this important location.

"The new Wetherby Whaler in Guiseley will be our flagship restaurant.

"We expect it to recapture the atmosphere and flavours of Harry Ramsden's best years."

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