Gusto, the Palatine-backed restaurant chain, has secured an additional £9m funding package from Santander to support its growth plans and target new sites across the UK.

The Sue Crimes-led group, which is part of the Living Ventures Group, currently has 16 restaurants across the UK and recently opened a Nottingham site, located in the city’s West Bridgford suburb.

The company, which recorded turnover of £23m in the year to March 2016, up 21% on the previous year, said the development and working capital facilities would allow it to develop existing sites as well as targeting new suburban locations.

It has already identified sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South, including a unit in Chislehurst.

Crimes, said: “We are thrilled to secure Santander backing and are very much looking forward to working with them in expanding our business and increasing our geographical presence across the UK. With the ongoing support from Palatine and a great Gusto team in place, we will continue to build our position as a national brand.

“We are grateful to Santander and Palatine for their shared vision in our ever growing business and their belief in our brand.”

Gary Tipper, managing partner of Palatine Private Equity, said: “Since Palatine’s investment, the management team have done a great job of building and developing the brand and moving into new areas of the UK, and there is now a solid platform to grow the business further. This new facility allows the business to deliver Gusto’s strong site pipeline, and also puts the company in a great position to take advantage of additional site or portfolio opportunities that arise.”

Gusto was supported on the transaction by the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons (Tim Fearne) and Santander by the banking team at Addleshaw Goddard (Martin O’Shea). Gateleys (Richard Sealy) provided support to Beechbrook Capital.