Bestway-owned cash & carry business Batleys is aiming to open its twentieth depot next year, but admitted it was having problems finding the right location.

The group planned to open another branch in the south-east following the launch of it first depot in the region this October in Gillingham, said Batleys operations director Martin Race. "A new depot costs in the region of £10m to develop, but that is not the issue," said Race. "There aren't a lot of good large sites available."

The company will not be looking within the M25 area, where parent-company Bestway is traditionally strong, and it is believed Brighton is the most likely target for the new depot.

Race said the group was also looking for more sites in Scotland, where it currently has two depots, and that it could prove an easier task to find the right location north of the border.

The group is set to celebrate its fiftieth year in business in 2008 and is planning promotional activities to tie in with the anniversary.

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