THE chairman of the Malton Livestock Market Company has welcomed the extension to the current site’s lease, with recent figures showing the market on course to turnover more than £13m this year.

Pat Foxton said that despite the previous uncertainty over its immediate future, trade had been very successful over recent months.

“The successful recent trading shows how important the market is to Malton and the wider area. We are pleased that the lease has now been extended and look forward to moving into the new facility.

“We feel that the livestock market is integral to the town and provides a major boost to the local economy through the market and by bringing people into the town that use local businesses.” He added: “The market has seen record numbers of fat cattle sold and is on course to turnover more than £13m this year, despite current pressures on the price of beef.

“With the town trying to confirm its status as the food capital of the county, I feel it is essential that there is continuity for the Market to ensure this successful effort continues.”

Last week, the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate, which owns the site, announced that the lease, which was due to run out on July 6, would be extended for three months.

In April, Commercial Development Projects in partnership with Malton and Ryedale Farmers Livestock Market Company Limited and Fitzwilliam Trust Corporation submitted planning applications to Ryedale District Council for interlinked development proposals including the relocation of the livestock market to a new Agri Business Centre and Business Park on land adjacent Eden Camp.

The development, which will create up to 1,000 new jobs, will, in part, be funded by residential development on land at Pasture Lane, Malton, land at Westgate, Old Malton; and land at Rainbow Lane, Malton. Mr Foxton said it was hoped that further extensions of the lease will ensure the market can trade from the current site until the new market is operating. If the applications are approved the new market could be open next Spring “The plans that have been submitted for a new livestock market will guarantee our long-term future,” he said.