A restaurant that has stood empty for almost 18 months after being ravaged by fire in an arson attack is set to get a new lease of life.

The building, in Bolton Road, was formerly the home of The Ital restaurant, a popular Italian restaurant that was forced to shut unexpectedly in September 2016 after arsonists started a fire in the dining area, causing damage to the building and severe smoke damage throughout the restaurant.

No-one has been prosecuted for the attack, and the restaurant has been shut ever since, with owners Aldo and Christian Devittoris exploring new business interests, and Aldo opening a new restaurant in Greengates.

But the Bolton Road restaurant is soon to be back open to the public, after a tenant secured the lease on the building.

It will soon be opened as the Nawaab Restaurant, the latest to be opened by the chain in Yorkshire.

It was founded in Manor Row, Bradford, in 1988, and currently has a restaurant in Tong and also operates other branches in Yorkshire as well as in Spain.

The restaurant has a menu featuring dishes inspired by the Kashmiri region, with a wide range of curries.

Abdul Saheed, a director at Nawaab, said the plan was to open the restaurant in the second week in May.

He said: “That is the plan, we have the builders in at the moment.

“This site came up and we just thought, we will take it, it will be good for Nawaab.”

The building is owned by brothers Christian and Aldo Devittoris, and following the fire, Aldo said he and his brother wanted “a fresh start”, so put the restaurant up for rent in January.

Aldo now runs Aldo’s Italian in Greengates, while Christian has set up his own catering equipment maintenance firm, ERL Catering Engineers.

He said: “We have known them for many years as friends and fellow restaurateurs.

“They are proven successful operators with a lot of history and we could not think of anyone better for the site.

“The whole team are an absolute pleasure to work with and have been gentlemen from start to finish.

“It is difficult taking on an existing restaurant’s site, but we are looking on with admiration at the work they are doing.

“The work they are doing is amazing.

“Nawaab opening up there is a happy ending to what was such a sad situation for us.”