A NEW Co-op convenience store will be opening its doors in Garnant as part of a £650,000 investment which will create 15 jobs.

The former Arcade Terrace site, is being transformed into the new store, which is due to open in July and will run entirely on renewable electricity.

Co-op said a number of measures will be in place at the new store to aid social distancing.

These include contactless card payment limits of £45, and a Community Shopping Card scheme to make it easier for those self-isolating to shop and pay for their essentials by enabling friends, families or volunteers to shop on their behalf in store.

Meanwhile the retailer’s Food Share scheme works to minimise food waste and make a difference locally, working with local not-for-profit organisations to share food with those in need in the community.

John Hillman, Co-op Acquisition Manager in Wales, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to open a new store in Garnant. Co-op is committed to connecting communities and operating at the heart of local life and we are looking forward to serving the community.

"We are working to develop the range, choice, products and services locally that will create a really compelling offer in the community.”

Bosses said there would be a focus in store on fresh, healthy produce and will also sell award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan and Fairtrade products, food-to-go, and everyday essentials.

Students in Carmarthenshire who are Totum cardholders - the new name for NUS extra - can pocket a 10 per cent discount off groceries at the Co-op.

Co-op also provides a funding boost locally and saves shoppers money through its re-launched membership scheme.

In addition to unlocking in-store offers, Members are rewarded with 2p in every pound they spend on Co-op branded products added to their own personal Membership account balance.

The Co-op also donates the same amount to community causes.

Welcoming the news, Garnant County Councillor Kevin Madge said: “Transforming Arcade Terrace has been a 30-year campaign and I welcome this latest development.

“The store will make a big difference locally, creating 15 new jobs for the area.”

Referring to previous plans to build social housing on the site, Cllr Madge added: “I do not control the public sector or the banks. It would have been nice to have extra housing, but I also welcome back the Co-op to the area. I hope this will lead to future investment in the valley.”