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Leekes is to create 50 new jobs at its South Wales-based department store chain, having secured a £28m funding package.

Leekes has won permission to develop a new £7m store and garden centre on the Gallagher Business Park in Bedworth, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Leekes is planning to set up a 130,000 sq ft furniture store at Rowleys Green in Coventry, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Leekes has acquired Cole's Home Furnishings, the operator of three furniture stores in Bilston, Bedworth and Fenton, and will create a department store format at each site.

Leekes Group has agreed a £38m funding deal with Barclays to fund the expansion of its South Wales-based retail and leisure operations, including two new stores and the conversion of Hensol Castle into a luxury boutique hotel by 2010.

Leekes is looking into the possibility of opening two new furniture and home accessories stores in South Wales, and is also planning an expanded online shopping service and a new in-store interior design studio.

Leekes is planning an expansion programme following a recent reorganisation, with plans to open new stores in Wales and the West of England and the possibility of a sports and leisure development at Hensol Castle.

Leekes is investing £1m in the expansion of its department store at Cross Hands in West Wales, with the creation of 30 jobs.