Subway aims to create 5,000 new jobs in the UK and Ireland by 2020 as part of its expansion programme.

Subway announced the latest opening alongside plans to increase the number of stores in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020, which it says will create around 5,000 new jobs.

The expansion plans are in response to consumer demand for more affordable quality ingredients and healthier choices, it said in a statement.

In an independent report, commissioned by the Subway brand, the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), highlighted the contribution Subway stores make to the UK and Irish economy in terms of spend, employment and output: “By expanding the prevalence of their QSRs across the UK and Irish regions, Subway stores have been driving business creation”, the report said. It added that the stores are “a significant driver” of SME business growth.

The most recent total turnover of Subway stores was calculated at approximately £515 million. Subway said franchisees will employ approximately 24,000 full and part-time working people throughout communities in the UK and Republic of Ireland by 2020.

The Cebr survey also found over 82% of franchisees thought Subway stores had a positive effect on the local area surrounding their location. “Not only do they attract greater footfall to high streets in general, Subway franchisees provide employment opportunities in local communities and offer healthier menu choices, especially compared to other food retail outlets.”

Peter Dowding, country director for UK and Ireland, said: “Our franchise model is tried and tested, it works for entrepreneurs and it works for us. We are confident our business model will continue to grow as more and more consumers demand great tasting food at a value price-point.”