Warrens, the Cornish bakery group, is looking to double its estate in the next five years as it ventures outside its West Country heartland for the first time in its 150 year history.

The c50 strong group is turning to franchising to realise it growth plans, with 20 stores in the pipeline this year alone.

Based in St Just, Cornwall, Warrens claims to be Britain’s oldest Cornish pasty maker, and opened its first franchise store in Birmingham earlier this year – also its first outside the West Country - with a second to open in Eastleigh next week with local businessman Farhat Abbiss.

Warrens chairman Mark Sullivan said: “After a hugely successful few months since the Mere Green opening, we are delighted that we can now cater for Eastleigh.

“With a track record for running successful franchises in the area, we are looking forward to working with Farhat and his team in the next stage of our development.

“We are moving rapidly into franchise with a new store pipeline of 100 new stores in the next 5 years, and have 20 more signed to open this year.”

Warrens has undergone an extensive rebrand across its 51 stores over the past year.

Sullivan said turnover had grown significantly in the past three years and the group expected to reach £20m per annum through organic developments and acquisitions.

There are also plans underway this year to expand the production facility in St Just.