A NEW £500,000 Co-op store is scheduled to open in Poole today.

The 2,500 sq ft shop, on Ashley Road, Parkstone, is around a mile away from the larger Co-op store well established on the same shopping thoroughfare.

However, the latest store runs on 100 per cent renewable energy – and has created 17 new local jobs.

Paul French, manager of the new store, said: "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to make such a significant investment in the area, and the team is really looking forward to serving the community.

"Co-op is committed to connecting communities and making a difference locally, and our aim is to operate at the heart of local life.

"We also want customers to know that they can become a member of their Co-op, and make a difference to causes in the area every time they swipe their membership card when buying own branded products.”

The new store includes a free ATM, customer car parking and in-store bakery alongside hot food and Costa coffee.

Co-op says it will focus on fresh, healthy produce, and feature "award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan products and, everyday essentials."

The convenience store will open 6am-10pm daily, and contactless card payment limits have been increased to £45.

Meanwhile, a Co-op spokesman said: "The Co-op provides a funding boost locally and gives back to causes in the area through its membership scheme. Members receive a five per cent reward on purchases of own brand products, and the retailer donates a further one per cent to community causes.

"The store’s food share scheme is designed to not only minimise food waste but also to share food with those in need in the community by working with its partners locally to help alleviate food poverty and hunger.

"While the Co-op’s community shopping card makes it easier for those instructed by the Government to stay at home to shop and pay for their essentials - cards can be purchased or topped-up by calling 0800 029 4592, enabling friends, families or volunteers to shop for them in store."