Auctioneers at Darlington livestock market have pledged to press ahead with their plans to build a new, £17m cattle market – despite their failure to secure a share of a £450m government fund.


They had requested £5m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to help relocate the mart from its existing town centre site to a 50ha site in the northwest outskirts of the town.

However, the mart’s management team received a setback this week when they heard that, although the North East will receive £56.85m from the £450m pot, their own bid had been unsuccessful. They are nevertheless determined to go ahead and are investigating alternative sources of funding so work on the new mart can still start later this year.

Stephen Aitken, managing director of Darlington Farmers’ Auction Market, said, “The new centre will create around 300 jobs and we felt we made a good case.

“However, we always accepted that we might not be successful in securing grant funding and have been planning for that eventuality. We have been investigating alternative funding sources and will continue to do so. We remain confident and anticipate starting work on the site later this year.”

The new centre, at Humbleton Farm, close to the the A68, will largely be funded by a housing development on land owned by the mart in Neasham Road, Darlington.