One of the UK’s biggest local media companies has announced plans for a new £1.5million investment to create 50 new roles in regional outlets across the country.

Newsquest, which owns more than 200 news brands, including the Lancashire Telegraph, The Bolton News, The Oldham Times and the Bury Times says increased focus on local digital publications in the past few years has helped it grow its readership.

The company also said the success of digital subscriptions had enabled it to have “confidence” in new investment.

Of the 50 new roles, 32 will be local digital journalists assigned to specific brands at newsrooms across the UK.

Offices include Glasgow, North Wales, Essex, Hampshire, Dorset, Bolton, Lancashire, Darlington, Durham, Yorkshire, Hereford, Wales, Somerset, South London, Sussex, Worcester, Oxford, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Cumbria.

Three more roles will be for local digital sport journalists in Bolton, Glasgow and Southampton.

The company is also launching a regional SEO content team consisting of 14 regional SEO content journalists and an SEO content editor who will manage the team and create local content.

CEO of Newsquest Media Group, Henry Faure Walker, said: “The focus that we have placed on growing engaged local digital audiences over the last few years is paying off, with most of our sites now reaching almost 80 per cent of their local population.

“This coupled with the success we are having with digital subscriptions, gives us the confidence to launch a major expansion in local journalism.

“This investment underlines our commitment to those towns and cities where our local brands have been the number one news provider for decades.

“We look forward to welcoming new talented digital journalists to join our teams in local newsrooms embedded in communities up and down the country.”