A forward-thinking businessman from Essex has been given the go-ahead to open 250 discount Halal supermarkets across the UK that will serve the Muslim community.

37-year-old Ahmed Al-Zhafavah from Southend came up with the HALALDI brand idea in 2015 after realising how expensive halal meat and other food items had become – his stores will be located in all four corners of the country.

Speaking to Southend News Network, Mr Al-Zhafavah explained that his stores will serve both the Asian and wider communities who are looking for reasonably-priced Halal meat.

He said: ‘For as long as I can remember, it has been difficult to find affordable halal meat in the UK, while non-halal meat is literally available everywhere.’

‘HALALDI is all about bringing halal food items to everyone in the UK, and hopefully beyond in the future.’

‘I want people to experience the high-quality and immaculate standards that come with it.’

The first HALALDI stores will open at the end of 2017 in Southend, Manchester, Canvey and Clacton, with the others to come in 2018.

This isn’t the first time that an entrepreneur has tried to set up a chain of ethnic discount supermarkets in the UK.

In 2014, financial conditions meant that businessman Herschel Merschell’s planned chain of discount kosher stores were scrapped – he recently hinted that a pilot YIDL supermarket may open in 2019.

There were also concerns raised at the time that money from kosher meat sales was being used to illegally fund Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond.

A protest march by Britain First attracted more than 11 people at the time.