A CHIPPY alongside the A64 near York could soon be re-created in a city in China after becoming a massive hit with coachloads of Chinese tourists.

Scotts Fish & Chips at Bilbrough Top made national and international headlines last year as a must-visit destination for Chinese holidaymakers.

Visiting a chippy in the UK has been popular since Chinese President Xi Jinping was treated to fish and chips by the former British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015.

Now Scotts' owner Tony Webster has agreed a deal in principle with a consortium of Chinese businessmen to open in partnership an “authentic” Scotts in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

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

The marketing strategy they devised saw Scotts launch a Chinese website on Weibo, using the Wechat messaging app because Facebook and Twitter are banned in the China, and translate its menu into Mandarin and Cantonese, which can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets via a QR code.

Tony said: “In 2017 we had very few Chinese customers, but thanks to a focused marketing strategy a trickle turned into a flood.

"Because of this it attracted the attention of the worldwide media.

“The subsequent publicity we received was simply phenomenal and resulted in Scotts becoming a household name both here and abroad.

"On the back of this I was approached by a consortium of Chinese businessmen keen to recreate Scotts in the southern Chinese city of Chengdu.

“I’ve now agreed in principle to work in partnership with them, which will see the Scotts brand opening in this city of 7.5 million people."

He said the restaurant would be a facsimile of the business, which stands by the westbound dual carriageway at Bilbrough, halfway between York and Tadcaster.

"This is an incredibly exciting prospect – one that I could never have imagined 12 months ago," he said.

“Later this year, if all goes to plan, Chinese tourists could be tucking into fish and chips at Scotts in North Yorkshire, while at the same time western tourists could be enjoying traditional fish and chips in southern China.

"What a mouth-watering prospect that would be!"