Scottish independent travel group Barrhead Travel has opened its 36th agency branch.

The company opened the doors to its third outlet in Edinburgh on Sunday.

The branch at 511 Queensferry Road in in addition to stores in the St James Centre and The Gyle, taking staff numbers in the city up to 30.

The new branch employs eight staff and is open seven days a week.

The group reported first quarter sales up by 20% over 2011 and plans to open a further branches this year.

A 100-strong call centre was opened recently in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.

The job announcements will see the workforce exceed 550 employees.

Barrhead chief executive Sharon Munro said: ““One of the best things about opening this branch is the opportunity to bring new jobs to Edinburgh, when so many other travel agencies are laying-off staff.

“We have a team of very knowledgeable travel consultants ready and raring to go in the new branch, with a huge amount of experience in the industry, working both full and part time.”

The store is headed by Diane Longmuir, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel industry.

She said: “Our other stores in Edinburgh have been amazingly successful, and Queensferry Road is an ideal opportunity for us to service customers in this busy part of Edinburgh.”