One of the North East's mart companies has taken a step forward in its vision to create a new agricultural centre to improve services for farmers in the region.
Darlington Farmers Auction Mart has appointed property consultancy WMC North East to manage the development of its new livestock market on the outskirts of Darlington.
The mart has been based in Darlington town centre since 1887, handling livestock from Northumberland, Weardale and Teesdale in County Durham and North Yorkshire.
However, it has experienced disruption due to its close proximity to the centre of Darlington, which is also impacting upon potential growth opportunities.
The rural location of the new site, 50-hectare Humbleton Farm on the A68, will be a more suitable location for the proposed mart, which has already secured outline planning consent.
Tony Ward, project director of Darlington Farmers Auction Market, said: “The proposed new facility and wider masterplan will bring a much improved service to all our customers and the farming community in general, as well as providing employment opportunities during construction and once opened.”
If detailed planning permission is secured, WMC North East will oversee the construction of the livestock auction facility.
The consultancy will also be responsible for securing a range of ancillary services on site, by attracting complementary businesses along with the potential for a green energy plant to create a long-term sustainable future for the site.
The company is working closely with Darlington Borough Council, current owners of the Clifton Road site, to ensure all planning requirements are met.
In addition the team are facilitating the sale of a site on Neasham Road owned by Darlington Farmers Auction Mart – which already has residential planning consent – to provide capital for the proposed development at Humbleton Farm.
Matt Johnson of WMC, who will be leading the project, said: “We are delighted to be appointed by Darlington Farmers Auction Market, which has a long tradition of providing livestock auctioneering services across the North East.
“We look forward to working with the team to progress the development and to create a purpose- built agricultural centre, enabling the expansion to meet the future needs of this long-standing company.”