By Scott Wright

BLUE Lagoon, the Glasgow-based fish and chips chain, has continued its rapid expansion by acquiring a site in Livingston.

The long-established group, which has been owned by the Varese family for more than 40 years, said it will invest £250,000 to refurbish the site in The Centre prior to its launch as a 60-seater restaurant and takeaway.

The group aims to open the outlet, which will be the thirteenth in its portfolio of directly-run and franchised units, on March 20. And it remains keen to expand further, with a first venture in Edinburgh in its sights.

Angelo Varese, whose father Erisilo established the business in 1975, said: “We are excited to open our 60-seater restaurant and takeaway unit in the Livingston shopping centre. We will be bringing a modern and trendy theme to the unit mirroring the design we’ve done in our most recent shop fits. This is the second unit we have opened in a shopping centre following the opening of our St Enoch centre branch in June 2019 which has traded well for us thus far. This opening will represent a step closer to Edinburgh, a city in which we are very keen to find a spot for Blue Lagoon.”

Formerly home to bakery chain Aulds, the Livingston outlet will be Blue Lagoon’s second in a shopping centre, following the launch of a shop in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre in June.

The Livingston move comes shortly after it spent £500,000 to double the capacity of the of its restaurant on Glasgow’s Argyle Street, next to Central Station. That followed an investment of nearly £1 million to acquire and fit-out an outlet in Perth, where there is also an 80-seat restaurant, in April.

Speaking to The Herald in January, Simone Varese, who runs the business with father Angelo and brothers Alessandro and Gianluca, said the pressure on the high street was opening up opportunities for the group. He said: “With high streets being the way they are just now, the opportunities are coming to us more regularly than they used to. But what I would say is that, in comparison to a few years ago, we put in maybe five or 10 times the due diligence we maybe used to.”