Producers in the Cotswolds will soon be able to take stock to a new auction centre near Cirencester, after the closure of the 150-year-old town centre mart last September.

The purpose-built market and agricultural centre will be at Fosse Farm, Driffield, close to the A419. “There has been a need for a new livestock market, an option denied since markets in Cirencester, Gloucester, Chippenham, Devizes, Banbury and Northampton all closed,” said Fosse Farm owner John Ford. Jon Pullin, director of auctioneer Voyce Pullin, said he hoped the new market would be open in late May or early June. “It is very necessary to offer farmers competitive trading and to achieve the best possible price.

” With penning for 600 cattle, the Cotswold Agriculture Centre will hold nearly double the stock of Cirencester and Andoversford markets, said Mr Pullin. Also on offer will be a modern vet”s practice, a country store and a garden centre. The site will be developed with the help of match-funding from DEFRA”s Rural Enterprise Scheme, with the rest from Voyce Pullin, Mr Ford, and farmer donations.

 Sheep, calves, store cattle and fat cattle would all be sold on a Tuesday, said Mr Pullin.