BLACKBURN's new Lidl store in Furthergate will open on September 24 at 8am.

The opening, on the former site of Fix Auto Blackburn, has created 40 new jobs in the area and is part of the company’s UK expansion and regeneration plan.

Opening times are set for 8am - 10pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am – 4pm on Sunday the first week the store says it will be offering customers exclusive deals on selected products.

Lidl GB regional head of property Nick Harvey said: “We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Blackburn.

“It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our multi award-winning products to the local community.”

The store has a 1,256m² sales area and will feature facilities such as an in-store bakery, longer-style tills, customer toilets, baby changing and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

The site is accessed off St Clement Street.

However, the ongoing coronavirus situation has had a serious effect on the company’s plans, forcing the new store to operate a range of social distancing measures.

These will include communication across the store, including floor markings, reminding customers of the importance of maintaining a two-metre distance from each other when shopping, along with regular public address system announcements.

Dedicated cleaning stations will also be in place at store entrances, including hand sanitiser, disinfectant and wipes, for customer to use on their trolleys and baskets.

Additionally, the supermarket has installed protective screens at checkouts along with protective visors and masks for staff and is continuing to encourage customers to pay by contactless payment methods where possible.

Managers also say that the new store will be providing surplus food and customer donations to Auxilium Housing, who provide 24 hour support for individuals affected by homelessness and provide them with a meal, and Shine Charity who in partnership with Star Academies help provide everyday essentials to vulnerable families and healthcare providers.

This will be delivered through the companies Feed it Back scheme, which connects the firm charities, foodbanks, community cafes and kitchens around the UK.