South Yorkshire-based bakery chain Cooplands is set for growth after receiving £7.7m in funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Since the BGF’s initial investment in the business three years ago – of £8.5m – the bakery brand has grown to more than 165 sites, 12 cafes and 36 sandwich vans, and has opened seven new stores during the coronavirus pandemic.

The business has said it plans to use the new investment to open a further 30 stores per year.

“We’re ambitious about continuing to grow our business and this investment allows us to build on the strong progress we’ve already made,” said Cooplands CEO Belinda Youngs. “This year we’ve continued to open stores, create jobs and develop new products.

“Just this month, we’ve opened a new shop in Lincoln which created eight new jobs for the city and launched a new cheese bake to meet consumer demand.”

“BGF is committed to backing the growth economy businesses that will help to drive economic recovery in every corner of the UK,” added BGF investor Barry Jackson. “Under Belinda’s leadership, Cooplands is a perfect example of a Yorkshire company which continues to strive for industry-leading innovation and quality which in turn, drives expansion and job creation across the region.”

The investment follows a series of new hires at the business, appointing Youngs as CEO in 2019, and Julie Turnbull as CFO earlier this year.

The Coopland family will remain minority shareholders following the investment and current managing director Paul Coopland will act in a non-executive capacity.