Discounter 99p Stores has announced dramatic expansion plans, aiming to open another 45 stores within 20 months, doubling its estate and moving into Wales and Scotland for the first time.

The growth programme is expected to create up to 800 jobs at store level and has been made possible by an £8m funding package provided by Barclays Ventures, shareholders and Lloyds TSB. Areas being targeted for stores include Aberdeen, Livingston and Glenrothes in Scotland and Swansea, Cardiff and Newport in Wales. Nine stores are already in the pipeline, with the next one opening in Catford, South London, shortly.

To support the expansion, the chain, which currently has a total of 46 shops, has recruited Steve Winetroube, previously Kingdom of Leather MD, as commercial director and Peter Gent as non-executive chairman. Gent joined from Nightfreight Holdings, where he was also non-executive chairman.