Royal Mail has announced a £75m investment programme which could create up to 1,000 jobs as it looks to cash in on the boom in online retailing.

The expansion is part of Royal Mail Group’s strategy to grow its express parcels business in the UK and overseas, and the Royal Mail said that the “vast majority” of positions will be full-time and related to delivering and collecting packages.

In the last reported financial year, its parcels businesses accounted for almost half of the group’s revenues, excluding the Post Office, and online retailing is expected to continue to grow as stores concentrate on online sales.

It has been revealed that a new parcel processing centre will be opened in Chorley in autumn next year, while two new depots will be opened in Cornwall and Hampshire, with a further nine existing depots expected to expand or move to larger sites over the next four years.

Commenting on the strategy, Moya Greene, Royal Mail Chief Executive, said:

“Our strategy is to convert the rise in parcel volumes in to profitable growth. That means becoming a much more customer-focused company being run on commercial lines and investing in new, vital technology.”

Following the announcement, Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment, said:

“It is great news that 1,000 new jobs will be created across the country as a result of this investment.

“We’ve now got a record number of people in employment and these jobs will provide welcome opportunities for people who are looking for work.”