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New livestock market plans for Malton unveiled
AN ambitious plan to build a new £1.5 million livestock market on the outskirts of Malton to replace the town’s old mart were unveiled this week by two leading farmers.
John Hicks and Peter Stark outlined their aspirations at a meeting called by Malton Town Council.
They told members, together with representatives of the farming industry and local landowners, that their aim is to re-locate the market to a site in Pickering Road, Malton.
It would take over from the existing livestock market, where the lease from the Fitzwilliam Estate is due to expire in October.
Mr Hicks said he had been encouraged by the response from the Ryedale farming community to promote the idea of having a market run by a co-operative with a board of directors made up from the membership.
Approaches had been made to the operators of a similar market at Penrith which had proved a success since it was established a decade ago. In the past year it had made a £300,000 profit.
Mr Hicks said the new Malton market, if run by a co-operative, would operate on a “one man, one vote” principle.
But he added, the co-operative idea did not have enough money at present to go ahead, despite the Pickering Road site being offered free of charge.
He said the priority was to extend the licence on the existing market site in Malton’s town centre, beyond October. Unless that was done, farmers would quickly drift to alternative markets at Thirsk and Murton, near York. However, the site owners, the Fitzwilliam Estate had “expressed interest”.
Mr Stark said the group was about £1 million short of its target of £1.5 million to build the complex which would operate as a twice a week market.
Coun David Lloyd-Williams pointed out that there was another scheme for a new livestock market being put forward by auctioneering companies, Cundalls and Boulton and Cooper. “Why is your proposal better than theirs?” he asked.
Mr Stark said: “The alternative has an interest with York Market. Our proposal would operate on a one-man, one-vote principle.
“We have a once in a generation chance. I want an independent, strong market operation on its own accord.”
He said that the district now also had a number of hobby-farmers, as well as long-established businesses, adding that once the go-ahead was given for planning and the finance, the new market could be operating in 18 months.
“If Malton loses its market it loses its role as a business hub,” said Mr Stark.
It was possible that a co-operative- run market would need to have an operator, rather than the farmers themselves.
Mr Stark said the group had taken part in talks with Ryedale District Council and with the Fitzwilliam Estate, which had been “encouraging”.
At present, the Malton group had interest expressed from 40 farms, businesses and individuals.
Mr Stark said that the £500,000 already promised by farmers would grow if Ryedale District Council gave the project its support.
Ryedale District Council’s chief executive, Janet Waggott, confirmed that talks had taken place with the co-operative group but said that the authority did not have £1million available for capital schemes.
“The council would be looking at the principle of a livestock market in Ryedale. We need to have a good look at the proposals,” she said.