By Farmers Weekly staff

PRESTON livestock markets future looks in serious doubt following the decision to put it up for sale; Kendal & District Auction Mart has no plans to relocate to a new out-of-town site.

According to managing director Clifford Kendal a fall in stock numbers, values and more deadweight selling has sealed its fate.

Regular sales will continue only if a buyer decides to continue the market rather than develop the 7.5-acre (3ha) site.

The sale will benefit the companys 400 shareholders – which include farmers – should they decide not to re-invest in the sister market at Kendal, 40 miles away.

In its day, Preston market saw up to 700 beef cattle, 300 dairy cows and high numbers of sheep being traded weekly. Today, that has declined by at least two-thirds, says Mr Kendal.

Preston joins the list of recent casualties which saw the closure of Banbury and Bury St Edmunds. Guildford markets future is still in doubt following plans to increase its rent considerably.