Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Landmark restaurant 'set to close'

Harry Ramsden's original fish and chip shop opened at Guiseley, Leeds, in 1928

Fish and chip chain Harry Ramsden's is set to close the first restaurant it opened in the UK after 83 years in business, according to reports.

The restaurant chain said its original branch in Guiseley, Leeds was losing money and needed a "considerable investment" before it could potentially become profitable again.

Joe Teixeira, the company's chief executive, said: "Whilst the Harry Ramsden's brand remains strong nationally, it is not immune from the challenging economic environment.

"The Guiseley restaurant is making a loss and needs a considerable investment before it could potentially become profitable again.

"This has been a difficult decision that has not been taken lightly, especially given the wonderful, affectionate support Harry's in Guiseley has enjoyed from its customers and staff. But we have to face the economic reality that it is loss-making."

The company said it had now launched a 30-day consultation period over the proposed closure.

Mr Teixeira added: "I appreciate that this news will be deeply upsetting and stressful for our staff. We are giving them as much information as possible and doing whatever we can to help them through what will be a traumatic period for them."

The flagship Guiseley branch was the first to be opened by the fish and chip firm in 1928 and there are now 35 in the UK.

Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey, described the proposed closure as "hugely disappointing".

He told the BBC the restaurant had been an "iconic" part of the area for many years.

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