GLASGOW fish and chip business Blue Lagoon is expanding its empire further north with the investment of £750,000 in a restaurant and takeaway in Perth town centre.

The family-run firm, which in recent years has branched out into Ayr, Largs and Stirling, recently bought a corner unit on Perth High Street that it intends to refurbish at the beginning of next year.

According to Angelo Varese, whose father Ersilio established the business with a takeaway on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street in the 1970s, the intention is to have the new venture up and running within the first half of 2019.

READ MORE: Blue Lagoon expansions brings ‘high quality’ chip shop to Stirling

“We bought the corner shop at 180 High Street some time ago and we’ve got planning permission to make it a Blue Lagoon takeaway and restaurant,” Mr Varese said.

“Trespass clothing is in the shop at the moment but they will be going out in January and we’ll start work straight away and would hope to be open by about Easter.”

Mr Varese said the business started expanding outside Glasgow five years ago because it felt it had “the city centre more or less covered”.

“We opened in Ayr three years ago and Largs five years ago, and most of the business there is in the summer” he said.

“We looked at Stirling because we thought it was in an area with lots of tourists and students. Because that has been so good we thought about Perth.

“We had a look there and found a corner unit – we like corner units – bang in the town centre.”

The business is investing around £750,000 in the venture, which will feature a 60-seater restaurant whose interior is being designed according to the specification of Mr Varese’s sons Alessandro, Simone and Gianluca, who are all directors of the business.

The launch will result in the creation of between 25 and 30 jobs with the business intending to start recruiting at the start of next year. Mr Varese said it is possible that one or two members of staff could also transfer from Stirling.

In terms of further expansion, Mr Varese said a key focus for the business is to open in Edinburgh, something it has been targeting for the past several years.

“We’ve been looking at Edinburgh for four or five years,” he said. “That’s the next one we want to go for but we’ve got to get the right location.

“We’ve been offered a lot of places but if it’s not in the right spot then we’ve got to wait.

“Sooner or later we will open in Edinburgh, it’s just a question of timing.”

READ MORE: Blue Lagoon's owner takes a leaf out of the burger chains' book

In total Blue Lagoon employs 70 people across its six directly managed locations, with a further 30 being employed at franchise branches on Glasgow’s Dumbarton Road, Sauchiehall Street, West Nile Street, Gallowgate and at Glasgow Fort shopping centre.

Mr Varese said the business had embraced the franchise model as a means of managing the overall business at the same time as recognising the commitment of some long-term staff members.

“The more shops we have the harder it is to control,” he said.

“If we’ve got people who have worked for us and who have proved themselves, after a number of years we can give them an opportunity [by licensing the Blue Lagoon brand to them].

“That has worked very well.”