Bill’s Restaurants, the fast-growing Richard Caring-backed chain, is looking to further strengthen its openings pipeline for this year, and is believed to be in talks on sites in Nottingham, Newbury and York.

The group, which has already exchanged on sites in Manchester, Bury St Edmunds and Norwich, has applied to open in the old Bank of Scotland site in Queen Street, Nottingham and in Market Place, Newbury. It is also believed to be in talks on sites in York and Leeds.

The 31-strong group will open in Tunbridge Wells on 7 April, in Kingston upon Thames on 14 April, in Eastbourne later next month, and in Worcester in May.

The group, which is on track to report turnover in its current financial year to the end of next July of between £50-55m, opened its 31st site in Windsor on 3 February.

It is understood that the Manchester site will be the first of a concerted push by the group into region.