A famous fish and chip shop is set to reopen in Preston after it was ravaged by a devastating fire.
Umberto’s in Watery Lane was engulfed in flames in August this year and has been closed ever since.
But the owners of one of the city’s best known fish and chip shops today confirmed they hoped to be back in business by the end of next month.
Renovations are set to continue over the next few weeks on the family-run business, which has been trading since 1973 at the same site.
Owner Umberto Frediani said: “I am delighted we are able to begin work this week to re-open the shop.
“The fire in August was our worst day in 40 years and one that came close to shutting the shop on a permanent basis.
“Without the fast response and professionalism of Lancashire Fire Brigade it may not have been possible to save the shop.”
Wife Aideen, who has helped run the shop with Umberto, added: “We have had amazing support from many different quarters, not least our staff, suppliers and customers.
“Umberto and I have been serving the people of Preston for 40 years and we are very thankful to everyone who has rallied round us during the last few difficult months.”
Umberto added: “I’ve been stopped in the street many hundreds of times by my customers in the last few weeks asking when will we be back in business, especially to get our £1.50 lunchtime special.
“We hope to be ready to start frying again by the end of November and look forward to welcoming back customers old and new.”
Paul Morris, of the We Love Hair salon next door, said he was delighted Umberto’s was reopening and said: “The quality of food is second to none.”
Paul, who had to repaint the salon because of smoke damage, said the fire had been a “traumatic experience”.
He said: “We are a modern, unisex salon, and between us we have got 50 years’ experience in hairdressing.
“We’ve got all this experience and we want to reassure people that we are still here.”
He added: “I can’t wait for Umberto’s to reopen.”