A NORTH Yorkshire meatball specialist is opening its first restaurant in York after agreeing a £100,000 franchise deal with one of the city's newest hotels.

The Yorkshire Meatball Co. has signed a two year deal with Splendid Hospitality Group to open a meatball restaurant at its new Hotel Indigo, due to open in Walmgate this summer.

Situated in the growing foodie-scene in Walmgate and Fossgate, the 70-cover restaurant will be the first franchise operation and the second outlet for the The Yorkshire Meatball Co, since it opened its first restaurant in Harrogate in March last year.

Stuart Bailey, chief executive of Splendid Hospitality Group, which also owns the Grand Hotel and Spa, formerly the Cedar Court Grand, and Holiday Inn Express hotels in York, said: "We are delighted to have The Yorkshire Meatball Co. on board.

"We’re passionate about promoting Yorkshire and the local story at Hotel Indigo York, and we can now showcase some truly unique flavours of Yorkshire as our dining concept.

"Both local residents and hotel guests will be able to enjoy this quirky and friendly Yorkshire dining experience."

The concept for The Yorkshire Meatball Co. was born out of an idea between father and son duo David and Gareth Atkinson.

Since opening on March 1, 2014, the restaurant in Harrogate's Station Bridge, has won three awards at a local, regional and national level, including ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in the Startups.co.uk awards.

The father and son duo now plan to open five restaurants within five years.

David Atkinson, managing director of The Yorkshire Meatball Co., said: "Bringing our balls to York is an exciting move for us.

"There has been huge demand from our existing customers to open up a branch in York so we are delighted to be on board with Splendid Hospitality Group to facilitate this move and help us reach a wider audience.

"We have enjoyed huge success in Harrogate to date, where we have served more than 85,000 Balls to more than 28,000 customers since opening just over a year ago.

"We are excited to be spreading our concept to the local residents and visitors to the Walmgate area which is making its mark as a foodie destination for the city, as well as to the domestic and international traveller market who are attracted to this famous city of York."

The 101-bedroom Hotel Indigo will be Splendid Hospitality Group's third hotel in York.

In August last year the group purchased York's only five star hotel, the previously named Cedar Court Grant Hotel & Spa, in Station Rise.

The sale came four years after the Cedar Court Group spend £30 million developing the 107 bedroom hotel.

Splendid Hospitality Group has since submitted plans to double the size of the hotel after buying a vacant neighbouring office block, Roman House, in Rougier Street.