The Co-op plans to open its new store on Rhayader’s East Street, next Thursday, January 11.

The supermarket chain confirmed earlier this week that it aims to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018, creating an estimated 1,600 jobs, with Rhayader due to be the first of these.

The retailer will invest over £160 million in new stores and major makeovers for a further 150 of its outlets.

Rhayader will also be the first of 10 new stores which are set to open in Wales.

Co-op said in a Facebook statement: “We’re excited to announce a brand new Co-op store will be opening in Rhayader in January 2018!”

It has been actively recruiting for new members of staff, with applications submitted to its Builth Wells store before the end of December.

It added: “If you have excellent customer service and care about making a difference in your community we would love for you to become part of our Co-op family.

“We have numerous positions available with full training given!”

Last month as the Co-op confirmed it had reached an agreement to become exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 stores across the Costcutter Supermarkets Group network from spring 2018, while members of Nisa Retail also voted in favour of the Co-op’s offer to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food said: “The Co-op is positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector. Our food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market. We have the ambition for our stores to be at the heart of local life, bringing communities together and offering our members and customers great quality products when and where they need them.”

Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, added: “The Co-op’s extensive acquisitions and refit programme is a fundamental part of our food strategy. Our expansion plans for 2018 will mean that the Co-op is on track to have opened at least 100 new stores in each of three consecutive years.”