Planning permission has now been granted for the relocation and replacement of dilapidated cattle sheds at Melton Mowbray Market.
The proposed modern, safe and well designed facilities will protect and safeguard the livestock market on the current site for at least the next 20 years. This investment will also release land to the south of the site for potential future complimentary development.
The existing buildings, especially those for auctioning of cattle, are in a poor condition and no longer fit for purpose - they do not meet the reasonable expectations of buyers and sellers, nor do they meet the standards of animal welfare achieved by more modern markets. Replacement buildings will ensure that Melton Livestock market remains safe, competitive and continues to comply with increasingly stringent DEFRA requirements.
The Livestock market is one of the keys assets for the town as it has been since Saxon Times. It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and has been described by local business operators as the life blood of Melton Mowbray.
Melton Borough Council has had long held ambitions to improve the existing 7 hectare site. Plans for the re–development, rationalisation and improvements have been in the making for the past 10 years or so. Various studies have identified the close relationship between the livestock market and the town centre and the significant economic benefit it creates. In 2009 the Council took initial steps to commencing this long term strategic project by acquiring and demolishing the unsightly abattoir site.
Cllr Joe Orson said:-
“The market is quite unique as it remains within walking distance of the town centre, it caters for a wide range of activities including the farmers market, auctions, car boot sales, food and drink festivals, events, weddings and receptions. The site's activities attract tourists and commercial visitors to the town and it has significant spin off benefits within the town and for the wider rural economy. As other markets are closing the market grows and gains a wider regional and national significance and we are seeking to enhance this and its potential further.”
David Willars, Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Market Partners said-
"We are delighted that this milestone has been reached. With the new state of the art cattle building, a 20 year lease and our conversion into a limited company with new external finance, we are confident that Melton Mowbray Market can thrive and become an even bigger driver for the prosperity of its customers, the town and the wider region."
The project is expected to bring additional benefits at the market by providing an enhanced division between livestock and visitors, resulting in better safety and improved flows across and into the site; and enhanced traffic flows in and around the site.
The Council is working closely with the LLEP and local stakeholders, has secured grant funding of £3.5 million to help fund the project. The project has received wide ranging letters of support for the project from the Town Estate, the Civic society, the NFU, the Chamber of Trade and these improvements will help to re-enforce the brand of the Rural Capital of Food.
Notes to Editors:
Subject to finance and funding timing the programme is on track for contractors to commence construction on site in May 2016.
The footpath will be relocated to a similar route to the existing, rather than the more direct route in front of the sheep shed and this will be dealt with as a planning condition.
Contact: David Blanchard
Title: Corporate Property Officer