One of the people wearing the broadest of smiles at last week’s Agricultural Buildings Show was Geoff Simpson, who had secured two firm orders for his company’s innovative Roundhouse livestock building before lunchtime. The latest news from the company is that it’s now able to provide Roundhouse accommodation for all types of livestock.

Cattle producers looking for a Roundhouse to accommodate, say, 150 head of finishing cattle could expect to part with about £110,000 – including an in-built handling system – for this award-winning structure. But Mr Simpson, managing director of Simpson and Allinson, said the Roundhouse was more than just a livestock building.

“Farmers considering a Roundhouse aren’t only taking the cost of the building into account. This structure creates an environment that provides a very high standard of animal welfare. That’s something we’re going to see taken much more into account in terms of the way stock performs and thrives and in the increased demand from consumers for animals reared in ideal conditions,” said Mr Simpson.

There are now 14 Roundhouses in use on UK farms. “Siting a Roundhouse isn’t difficult and its shape makes it far more aesthetically acceptable than a square building. Most farmsteadings have a location that will provide sufficient shelter.”

Cost is about £132/sq m, compared with about £145 for more conventional buildings. Dairy cows in a Roundhouse can be loose housed or provided with cubicles and the building can be divided into segments for beef cattle. There are no walls in a Roundhouse, which has a 30.25m diameter and a 95m circumference.

“Achieving planning consent hasn’t been a problem. The round design enables the structure to blend well into landscape. There are no straight lines in nature,” says Geoff Simpson.