Working group considers South Molton market plan

Plans to relocate South Molton's livestock market to form part of a state-of-the art agri-centre on the Pathfields industrial estate have taken a major step forward. North Devon Council and South Molton Town Council have teamed up to form a working group

PLANS to relocate South Molton's livestock market to form part of a state-of-the art agri-centre on the Pathfields industrial estate have taken a major step forward.North Devon Council and South Molton Town Council have teamed up to form a working group to develop the project.The group comprises four members of each council and is currently working on a business case for the project. They are also planning visits to other schemes in Bridgwater and Frome to see how they work in practice and learn from their experiences.The main aims of the project are to secure the long-term future of the livestock market and free up the town centre for regeneration.The agri-centre aspect of the project is still in the ideas stage. The plan is to provide space for a whole range of businesses based in the rural economy such as local food producers as well as the businesses that support them, like insurers and large animal vet practices.South Molton Town Councillor Martin Kingdon, chairman of the working group, said: "We have been talking about relocating the livestock market for years. Now with the land becoming available and the support of North Devon Council, there is at last a real chance it can be achieved."I am looking forward to visiting the other market centres with the working group to see how they've been developed and operated."Cllr Mike Harrison, Leadr of North Devon District Council, said: "Relocating the livestock market is a win-win situation. Not only will it mean a brand new fit-for-purpose facility being built in a more accessible part of the town, it will also free up a large part of the town centre for regeneration. I'm pleased to see this project take such a positive step forward."The next meeting of the working group is at the end of April when the business plan will be firmed up. Then reports will be taken back to each of the councils before the project moves on any further.

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