FANE Valley Co-operative Society and Markethill Livestock Sales Ltd have confirmed that they are to collaborate to enhance the delivery of livestock sales services in Co Armagh.
Effective from May 25, Fane Valley’s Livestock mart in Newtownhamilton (pictured) will be operated by Markethill Livestock Sales, before being consolidated into the new Markethill Livestock Sales premises when in opens for business in August 2013.
Fane Valley will in turn invest in an agri-retail store at the new Markethill Livestock Sales complex, offering a wide range of agri-goods and the provision of a tag printing service.
Trevor Lockhart, chief executive of Fane Valley, said: “Whilst Fane Valley and Markethill Livestock Sales Ltd have independently operated successful mart businesses for many years, Markethill’s plan to relocate created an opportunity to address the fragmented nature of livestock sales services in Co Armagh.
“Fane Valley is naturally disappointed that the mart in Newtownhamilton will close after 53 years of operation. However, modern methods of transporting livestock reduce the need for livestock marts to trade in such close proximity to each other.
“This joint initiative with Markethill Livestock Sales will deliver a significantly enhanced service to the farming community, and we trust that it will be widely supported. Fane Valley is extremely grateful to farmers for their custom over the years and to all the staff who contributed to Newtonhamilton’s success.”
Hampton Hewitt, owner of Markethill Livestock Sales Ltd, added: “We are well advanced with the construction of the new mart on the Newtownhamilton Road, just outside Markethill. This purpose-built facility will offer improved livestock handling arrangements, easy parking and an all round better service to the farming community.
“The incorporation of Fane Valley’s Newtownhamilton business in August 2013 will be a very positive addition and will contribute to the success of the project.
“In the meantime, it will be business as usual at the fortnightly sales in Newtownhamilton and I can assure buyers and sellers of our best attention and service at all times.”