Northern Irish meat business The Meat Merchant is to embark on an expansion drive that will see the company setting up its first mainland UK store.

Owned by meat wholesaler Hannan Meats, The Meat Merchant is based in Moira, Co Down. It now plans to open three new ­delis under The Meat Merchant brand, one of which will be located at St George’s Terrace, in the Jesmond district of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The new shop would introduce the North East of England to superb products such as Glenarm Shorthorn and Northern Ireland certified Hereford Beef, Moyallon pork and bacon and Rockvale Poultry, said Hannan Meats MD, Peter Hannan. The company had been encouraged to move after a delegation of chefs from North East England visited the company in Northern Ireland.

The shop will also sell other non-meat Northern Irish speciality foods.