SOUTH Oxfordshire will see a new Lidl open by the end of the month, the budget German chain have announced.

The new supermarket will open its doors for the first time on Thursday, January 31, in Wallingford, for a launch day.

That will bring to an end the long-running push to open a second supermarket in the market town, which currently only has a Waitrose.

Prior to Lidl's decision, the town watched a prolonged ‘will-they-won’t-they’ saga over whether Morrisons would build there, before the chain pulled out.

Customers are invited to attend Lidl's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Hithercroft Road store from 8am on its opening day.

They will be offered the chance to sample products throughout the day, and access 'exclusive deals and offers on selected products for the first week of opening'.

Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, Jeremy Lee, said: “We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Wallingford.

"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.”

Lidl asked the Oxford Mail not to contact its new store manager because 'they are extremely busy getting the store ready'. It would not provide a comment from another representative.

Locals have been eagerly anticipating the opening for some time.

Speaking before the announcement of the opening date, Wallingford Mayor Lee Upcraft said: "I’m really excited about the prospect of Lidl opening in town as it’s going to give some much needed choice for people who want to shop locally."

Councillor Adrian Lloyd, who is chairman of the Wallingford Town Council’s planning committee, echoed the mayor's sentiments.

He said: “It is bringing a supermarket to Wallingford and more importantly an affordable supermarket.

“Despite perceptions of it being a rich town, within the area around Wallingford we have over 1,000 people who use the food bank.

“One in 16 people are reliant on the food bank, so bringing a cheaper supermarket to Wallingford is excellent. The town council fully supports it.”

40 new jobs have been created by the development.

The discount supermarket will feature an in-store bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing, customer toilets, baby changing facilities and parking for cars and bicycles.

The company sees the new store, situated on a 2.86 acre site in Hithercroft industrial estate, as part of its UK 'expansion and regeneration' plans.