2 August 2002

Closure looms for Lincs mart

LOUTH Cattle Market in Lincs is under threat and could cease operations unless business improves, say local councilors.

The market reopened in April this year after being closed for 15 months during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

But at a meeting of East Lindsey district council, councilor David Hill, a former secretary of the NFU in Lincs, told colleagues that throughput of stock had been "grim".

He continued: "If the market is not used it wont last."

After the demise of the livestock markets in Alford and Horncastle, the market at Louth is one of the last in Lincolnshire.

"It is part of our tradition and heritage," claimed councilor Fiona Martin. "For it to close would have a serious impact on both town and district."

The disappointing numbers of cattle being bought and sold reflects tighter regulations on livestock movements, for instance the 20-day standstill rule, and a change in meat-buying procedures by some supermarket chains.

The market site is owned by East Lindsey district council, which receives a rent from the auctioneers operating the site. The council has agreed easier terms in the hope of improving its financial situation.

Other ways of generating income on market days will also be explored, but if after six months the market still fails to be viable a new use is likely to be sought for the site, which sits on the edge of the town. &#42

Top price at the Hawthwaite Lane Beltex sale at Carlisle last week was 780gns for Hawthwaite Lane Eureka, a gimmer shearling from Linda Caines flock from Primrose Farm, Holmes Green, Dalton-in-Ferness, Cumbria.