BUDGET supermarket Aldi is hunting for new store locations in 14 towns across Dorset.

The UK's fifth largest supermarket hopes to open its first store in Swanage and to open additional stores in towns across the county.

And the move is likely to create more than 400 new jobs.

Aldi already has 880 stores across the UK but hopes to have 1,200 open by 2025.

It is looking for sites in Blandford, Bournemouth, Bridport, Christchurch, Dorchester, Ferndown, Poole, Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton, Swanage, Verwood, Wareham, Weymouth and Wimborne.

It hopes to find freehold town centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.

It says each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access.

Ciaran Aldridge, National Property Director at Aldi UK, said: “Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year.

“But there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.

“We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.”