Central England Co-op has announced plans to open nine new food stores and revamp dozens of existing sites in 2019.

New and revamped stores are currently planned for Stafford, Lichfield, Nottingham, Norfolk, Suffolk, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire as part of a multi-million pound project.

The new and revamped food sites will feature upgraded fixtures and fittings including the latest in energy-efficient refrigeration technologies to minimise environmental impact and LED lighting, as well as free parking, cash machines, a life-saving defibrillator and food banks to support people across the local area.

Central England Co-op chief executive Martyn Cheatle said: “We are really proud of the success of our business, especially with our continued good performance in what is a highly competitive and increasingly uncertain trading environment.

“We want to continue with that success and this is why we are committed to an ambitious growth and investment strategy during the next 12 months.

“We are now in the process of getting ready to open and revamp dozens of food stores and Funeral Homes and we cannot wait to welcome colleagues, members and shoppers, both old and new, into them for the first time during 2019.”

In 2018, the society opened 10 new food stores relaunched 30 others.

Central England Co-op recently announced a 4.1% rise in like-for-like sales across its convenience stores in the three-week Christmas period ending 5 January.