Belfast Telegraph

Costa's expansion drive continues with three new coffee shops for Northern Ireland

By David Elliott

Cafe chain Costa Coffee is opening three new stores in Northern Ireland in an expansion which will create 40 new jobs.

The move by the London-headquartered firm is part of a continued push into Northern Ireland which started in 2004 at Belfast City Airport through franchisee MBCC Foods and, with the new cafes, it will now employ a total of 250 people in 21 branches.

The Costa brand is owned by pub giant Whitbread which reported £200m profit for the first half of the year and employs nearly 34,000 people in total.

Dervla Arthurs, marketing manager for Costa Ireland, said the new positions are already filled or will be in the coming months and all new starts will be offered training.

"Not only will we be offering a top quality product and service but anyone who joins our team will benefit from our excellent staff training which includes a dedicated core skills trainer and the opportunity to train at our Barista Academies in Dublin and Cork," she said.

The stores will be located at the Kennedy Centre, Belfast, Lisburn Omniplex and Holywood Exchange.

The store at the Kennedy Centre, Belfast, opened on November 15, the Lisburn Omniplex store opens on November 30 and the Holywood Exchange store in early December. Costa's expansion will add to the raft of coffee shops in Northern Ireland which have emerged over the last 10 years.

Although relatively small in comparison to its main competitior Starbucks, Costa's growth has been met with resistance in some parts of the UK.

In 2012 it pulled out of a planned development in Totnes in Devon after facing opposition from residents.

But its image was boosted that year by revelations about Starbuck's UK tax avoidance.

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