BRITAIN'S cheapest supermarket is set to open in South Yorkshire next week - but only for 500 specially selected customers.

Items at the Goldthorpe store will be a third of normal prices, with stock supplied from major chains such as Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose.

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

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.

The ‘social supermarket’, which opens on Monday, has been set up as a pilot scheme to help struggling families.

All of its 500 customers will have to be on a specified list of benefits and will initially be given a six-month membership.

Organiser Sarah Dunwell said: "We're aiming to fill a gap between food banks and mainstream retail. Lots of families are not in such an emergency situation but are on the cusp of food poverty.

"It's for anyone who's claiming any of a list of benefits. It's not just about the long-term unemployed but hard-working families who are struggling."

It will enable shoppers to buy cut-price food and luxuries that would otherwise be thrown away by big retailers.

The supermarket will not sell alcohol or tobacco, but will use products rejected by stores for a variety of reasons, including damaged packaging or incorrect labelling.

Sarah added: "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.

"This isn't cheap food for the poor. It takes stuff that will not make it to supermarket shelves and uses it to feed people who need it most."