Subway has appointed Colin Hughes as country director for the UK and Ireland.

In the role, Hughes will lead the brand’s growth as it looks to increase the number of locally owned and operated Subway stores in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020. The business currently has more than 2,500 stores in the UK and Ireland and 44,800 in over 113 countries.

With 25 years’ experience in the retail and food industries, Hughes has worked most recently as an independent consultant, providing interim operational and commercial cover to a range of businesses and private equity clients.

He has previously held senior roles at businesses including Wyevale Garden Centres, where he led 145 company-owned and franchised restaurants across four different concepts. He was also retail operations director at Pret A Manger and Eat, and was responsible for the site search, acquisition and opening of more than 150 new sites throughout the UK.

“We are exceptionally pleased Colin is joining the team,” said Subway regional director Justin Goes. “His valuable experience and knowledge in retail, food and franchising makes him well positioned to lead the business in the UK and Ireland going forward.”