Rival bidders to operate Malton’s livestock market on a new site have until mid-August to present their proposals to the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate.

The estate wants to use the existing town centre market site, where the market lease expires in October, for a retail development.

Two groups are vying to run the new market and a new lease is being offered rent-free on the existing site to the successful bidder, subject to adequate finance being available to fund relocation of the market to a new site, said the estate.

The successful party would be chosen by 23 August and it would then have until 6 September to prove it has funding in place for the new market.

Financial strength and capacity to manage the major undertaking of developing the new site were key in the decision, said estate manager Roddy Bushell.

“This is a big responsibility and we want to ensure the chosen scheme is realistic and deliverable.”