Tesco is ploughing more than £3m into developing its next generation of directors. The money will be spent over the next 12 months on training managers and directors at the Tesco Academy in order to identify potential leaders.

The investment in the Tesco Academy is 23% higher than last year, the retailer said, and its objective was to maintain a supply of "exceptional" leaders for the UK and internationally.

"It is more important than ever to invest in people as Tesco continues to expand both geographically and into new sectors," said Peta Hay, director of the academy. "Tesco has a proven track record of both nurturing internal talent and successfully attracting external senior executives."

The Tesco Academy is seen as key to the business by Tesco Sir Terry Leahy. The flagship Advanced Leadership Programme, which prepares individuals for director roles, allows candidates to be mentored by board members, and be sent abroad for stints working in Tesco's businesses in Asia and Europe.

"The academy aims to develop leaders who have a vision that they can align the business behind and who live our values," added Hay.

Those attending the Tesco Academy programmes will be selected from across Tesco's global operations, and range from store managers and commercial buying managers to directors and chief executives.