Waitrose has kicked off a five-year expansion drive in central London by securing a site for a new 10,000 sq ft store in High Holborn.

"We have a growing appetite for sites in Central London," said a spokesman. "This is a unique site which is perfectly located to benefit office workers, local residents, students and tourists. We look forward to expanding our Central London presence over the next few years."

Waitrose has signed a 15-year lease on the building, at an initial rent of £475,000 p/a. The drive is part of Waitrose's wider growth ambitions. In March, managing director Mark Price unveiled plans to open 40 new stores that would add 300,000 sq ft of retail space to its estate in the following 12 months. It has also made a concerted effort to focus on developing smaller store formats, with the debut of its Little Waitrose fascia earlier this year.