BUSINESSMAN Tony Webster purchased this popular North Yorkshire chippy in summer 2014.

Situated next to the A64 at Bilborough, neat York, Scotts Fish & Chips boasts a 110-seater restaurant and takeaway.

During the five years he has owned Scotts, it has received numerous accolades for its food, in particular for its gluten-free fish and chips. It is now vying for Small Business of the Year and Business Innovation of the Year in The Press Business awards.

Last year, Tony saw the growing Chinese tourism market as a potential source of new business and set about making Scotts a destination for Chinese tour groups keen to sample the UK’s signature takeaway dish.

Since Chinese Premier Xi Jinping was treated to fish and chips by former British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, visiting a chippy is a must for Chinese tourists visiting the country.

Tony teamed-up with Chinese national Will Zhuang, who manages Chinese social media for Visit York and Leeds City Region, to help promote his venue to Chinese tour groups planning UK visits.

To do this they launched a Chinese language website on Weibo, began using the Wechat messaging app because Facebook and Twitter are banned in China, and translated its menu into Mandarin and Cantonese, which can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets via a QR code.

Tony saw the rise in Chinese coach parties coming to Scotts as a way to garner publicity and contacted the local media, including The Press, who quickly picked up on this story which was even covered by the Chinese state media.

The marketing campaign has resulted in a 15 per cent increase in sales since June 2018. Scotts is now included in several tour guides’ 2019 itineraries.

At the beginning the year, Tony was approached by a consortium of Chinese businessmen and agreed a deal in principle to open in partnership an “authentic” Scotts in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Work is now underway refitting a former restaurant in a busy shopping mall in the city of 7.5 million people into an exact replica of Scotts Fish & Chips.