Northern butchery chain Crawshaw Group will spend £200m on 200 new stores by 2022 as it looks to establish itself as a national brand.

The AIM-listed business kickstarted its expansion with the acquisition of the Gabbotts Farm portfolio in Manchester for £3.9m in April. All 11 stores are now trading as part of the Crawshaw Group.

Crawshaws also recently opened new stores at Leeds Merrion Centre and Bolton town centre - and said trading at the sites was already exceeding expectations.

Four more new stores will open in the North and North West by the end of the year, bringing the group from 22 stores to 39 in just nine months. A further 15 stores are planned in the region for next year. From the end of 2016, the business will look towards national expansion.

For every 60 new stores, Crawshaws will open a 1,400 sq m distribution centre and production facility that will also operate as a factory retail outlet open to the public, retailers and wholesalers.

The ambitious expansion has been spearheaded by Crawshaws CEO Noel Collett, who joined the business five months ago after spending 12 years as Lidl’s UK chief operating officer.

“I am thrilled to be involved in what I believe is the most exciting and scalable project on the current retail landscape,” he said.

“Our target of 200 stores is just the tip of the iceberg. With our unique fresh meat and food-to-go proposition, there’s nothing to say that this scaleable model can’t reach 500 or 1,000 nationwide.”