WAITROSE and Marks and Spencer are just two of the big-name stores that are set to provide stock to Britain's first 'social supermarket'.

The store, which is opening in Goldthorpe next month, will enable shoppers to buy cut-price food and luxuries that would otherwise be thrown away by big retailers.

The idea has been developed by Company Shop and its chairman John Marren.

It expects its prices to be around 70 per cent cheaper than those found on normal shop shelves and will only be open to people on certain welfare benefits.

Items on sale will range from fresh fruit, meat and vegetables to tinned goods, cheeses and toiletries.

Goldthorpe was chosen as the location for the first, in what is scheduled to be a whole chain of community shops, because it's an area of high deprivation.

Sarah Dunwell, who is the spokesperson for Community Shop, the social enterprise project based at Tankersley, said the shop would not be stocked with basic ‘austerity’ lines.

"We will have staples such as sugar, pasta and rice but also more expensive goods such as French cheeses, ready-made lasagne and desserts and household products," she said.

"It takes items that will not make it to supermarket shelves and uses it to feed people who need it most."

As well as cut-price food the Goldthorpe shop will also offer budget and debt advice, cookery lessons and employability, skills training and volunteering opportunities.

Entry will be restricted to those with membership cards, which will be given only to families who are claiming certain benefits. 

Leaflets publicising the scheme have already been delivered to homes in Goldthorpe. Initially 500 families will be selected to join the scheme for six months.