Community enthusiasm for a huge fundraising bid to realise the long-running proposal to relocate Malton’s 200-year-old livestock market to a new £2m purpose built, out of town site has been “rekindled” following a packed public meeting.
More than 230 people attended a summit in the market town last week to hear how the plans, first mooted five years ago by Malton and Ryedale Farmers Livestock Company, had progressed.
Potential investors at the meeting, which also attracted local councillors and council leaders, were invited to pledge funds by way of one-off contributions or through the purchase of shares.
Land agents Marshall Developments confirmed the deeds for the plot near Eden Camp in Old Malton would be handed over to the livestock company once the project’s full construction costs are raised.
Patrick Foxton, chairman of Malton and Ryedale Farmers Livestock Market Company Ltd, said almost £300,000 had been raised in pledges since the meeting, taking the total raised so far to around £1m - half of the total amount required for building work to start.
“The meeting went fantastically well,” Mr Foxton said. “More than 230 people attended and it was standing room only. It was very positive. I gave everyone an update on what had happened over the last five years and confirmation was given by James Marshall - CEO of Marshsall Developments - to get on with raising the money and the deeds will be handed over for the site.
“The proposed build costs around £2m, which is a significant amount of money but only about half the price we first predicted.”
He added: “I’ve always been optimistic we could achieve this project but the meeting rekindled the flames of enthusiasm that everybody had and we were able to tell them more about our proposals in more depth.”
To secure extra funding, Mr Foxton is planning further talks with each of Malton Town Council, Ryedale District Council and Norton on Derwent Town Council.
Meanwhile, a deadline for pledges from the community has been extended and is currently open-ended, though Mr Foxton said he was hopeful of reaching the £2m total soon.
“It will take between six and nine months to build it and if we raise the full amount of money by the end of June it will be a case of ratifying our planning permission for the site with the council and hopefully the work can start by the end of the summer.”
The proposed relocation of Malton’s mart has been prompted by the current town centre site’s landowners, The Fitzwilliam Estate, which has secured planning permission for the land to be redeveloped as part of a scheme comprising of a car park, public square and retail outlets.
The existing mart is currently operating on the basis of a rolling three-month lease.