11 April 2001
Yorkshire Dales abattoir to expand

By Wendy Owen, north-east England correspondent

PLANNING permission has been granted for a 1.5 million project to expand a small abattoir in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Subject to private investment and grant aid, the new building will replace the existing East Borwins slaughterhouse in Hawes, North Yorkshire

Martin McIntyre and his wife Lindsey run the abattoir, which has operated for the past five years as an unlicensed, home consumption-only slaughterhouse.

About 40 lambs, two cattle and a few pigs slaughtered each week.

It is expected that the new abattoir, which is to be built this summer, will have capacity for 120 lambs, 12 cattle or 20 pigs an hour.

More than 250 people attending open public meetings to support the venture. Hawes Auction Mart manager, Maurice Hall, said he was delighted at the news.

“This development has the potential to provide a facility which will give the hard-pressed farmers of the area a chance to take charge of their own destiny.

Having a local abattoir run by a local family will allow the development of a livestock producer group to supply locally branded meat for the Dales area.

“This is a great opportunity to weld together the links in the meat chain, providing Dales farmers with a bigger share of the profit generated, said Mr Hall.

“It will also bring more employment opportunities.”

Dan Weston, of the Northern Dales Meat Initiative, said the site would provide a base for local farmers to take meat-related training courses.

“The north of England has lost more than 60 % of its abattoir capacity closing in the last decade, and this loss has had a dramatic effect on the whole industry.”

Consumers are now concerned with welfare, traceability and food miles and being able to purchase local brands is increasingly in demand, said Mr Weston.

“This project will strengthen the opportunity to give the primary producers the fair trade needed to sustain the rural community.”