Coffee shop chain Central Bean is set to expand beyond its north east stronghold.

Part of the Newcastle-based Vaulkhard Group , Central Bean will open in Fox Valley retail park in Stocksbridge. The expansion follows a £300k investment from Vaulkhard Group.

Kieran Holliday, brand manager, said: “With Central Bean already established in Sanderson’s Arcade, Mark Dransfield [managing director of Dransfield Properties] presented this opportunity to Vaulkhard Group and we were instantly excited. As a result, we became one of the first businesses to sign up to the scheme three years ago.”

The new 3,500sq m coffee shop seats 120, with an outside area to accommodate an additional 32 seated, complete with landscaped gardens, contemporary stone benches, TV screens and a fountain.

Holliday added: “It is challenging to expand outside the north east, but it also opens up doors to be able to develop and drive the brand further. It is important to us to have a presence in quality market towns, rather than just larger cities.”

It is eight years since the chain opened its first shop at Newcastle’s Gallowgate – the new store opens today (16 June). The opening will create 20 new jobs.