Farmers meet to discuss way forward for livestock market

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NEW moves to build a replacement livestock market for a North Yorkshire town have been put forward by a group of farmers.

Their ideas were put to a meeting attended by some 80 farmers in the Ryedale area called by the group of four farmers who said they were anxious to progress made on establishing a new market to replace the existing long-established complex in Malton’s town centre, on which the lease is due to expire in October next year.

One of the leading members of the group, David Cussons, a Kirkbymoorside farmer and Ryedale councillor, said the aim is to explore the possibility of setting up a co-operative of farmers who would run the market. A site near Eden Camp, owned by the Fitzwilliam Trust, has been earmarked for the development which, said Coun Cussons, is likely to cost about £3m.

Coun Cussons said he hoped the planned co-operative venture could work with auctioneers who are also progressing a scheme. A group of farmers from Penrith’s co-operative run market attended the meeting and explained how their market had been a success.

“We have got to get something moving in view of the lease expiring next October on the present market site,” said Coun Cussons.

He said it was vital that the new market was in use more than just two days a week as a livestock market, to ensure its viability. Coun Cussons said three sites had been considered for the new market, but the one near Eden Camp was felt to be the best because of its close proximity to the A64 and A169 roads.

“We believe a co-operative market could be a successful venture as there are between 500 and 600 farmers and farming businesses in the Ryedale area,” Coun Cussons said.

A further meeting is to be held by the group in the new year, and talks are also planned with the auctioneers’ group to discuss their ideas.

The Fitzwilliam Estate, which owns the majority of land in Malton town centre, won planning approval for a multi-million redevelopment scheme for the market site which would include shops and an upmarket food store. The Yorkshire Post revealed in October that a Government Planning Inspector had overturned Ryedale District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to re-develop the existing market.