Manchester-based Individual Restaurant Company has secured £18.5m from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets to fund its national expansion plans.

The restaurant company, which runs the two brands Piccolino and The Restaurant, Bar and Grill, will launch seven restaurants across the UK this year. It currently has 30 branches.

It plans to open in Birmingham, York, Aberdeen, Bristol, Hale, Clitheroe and Harrogate in 2008 and has identified a further seven sites for 2009.

Vernon Lord, finance director of Individual Restaurant Company, said: ‘We have a really strong pipeline, with dozens of opportunities across the UK. But we are not rolling out chain restaurants. We are expanding in strategic sites, creating individual restaurants. This matters to our customers.’

The £18.5m revolving credit facility has been provided by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets.