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

Newsquest, which owns more than 200 news brands, says increased focus on local digital publications in the past few years has helped it grow its readership.

The company 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.

Henry Faure Walker, CEO of Newsquest Media Group, 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% 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.”