DIY chain B&Q is to create 4,000 jobs over the next year in a store opening programme announced yesterday.

The firm, owned by Kingfisher, said it would invest £200m, opening 17 stores next year to cash in on a new DIY boom. One of them will be in Middlesbrough, due to open in February.

B&Q has 320 stores, including 90 B&Q Warehouses, employing more than 33,000 people and serves more than three million customers a week.

Mike Cutt, of B&Q, said, ''The DIY market has changed tremendously in the past five years. We've seen a change from DIY to home improvement, the growth of BIY (buy it yourself), the growth of services such as installation and wider ranges of products from entry price level to products you would usually only see at specialist outlets.