Barracuda Group has announced it will open a total of 12 new businesses between 1 September and 27 September, after investing almost £10m in the new outlets. The new openings include eight Smith & Jones sites and one Barracuda Bar. The three additional new businesses have been converted from the company’s existing estate and re-launched under its student-focused Varsity brand. The Smith & Jones sites will open in Darwen, Ilkeston, Chaddesden, Bathgate, Barry, Ossett, Caterham and Sittingbourne, while the new Barracuda Bar, the company’s 23rd, will open in Weymouth. The three new Varsity outlets will open in Manchester, Brighton and Loughborough. Mark McQuater, chief executive of Barracuda, said: “It will be quite a logistical feat launching 12 businesses over four weeks, but the team is very excited and confident that this can be achieved.” The launch of the 12 new sites will take the number of outlets opened by the company during the year to 30 September to 35, exceeding its target of 30 new venues for the year. By the end of September the company will operate 187 sites in total, consisting of 23 Barracuda Bars, 32 Varsity sites, 90 Smith & Jones outlets, eight Juniper Inns, and 34 unbranded units. It is currently carrying out a gradual refurbishment programme to convert its unbranded estate to its Juniper brand.