New Holsworthy livestock market will boost economy
Contractors will begin work within a month on building a £6 million state-of-the-art livestock market at Holsworthy, now that the Torridge District Council has finally completed negotiations, it was announced yesterday.
"We are thrilled to bits – this has been four years in the making," council leader Barry Parsons told the Western Morning News. "We've got to the point now where everyone is pulling together and this is going to be massively good news for the local economy.
"The scheme unlocks a multi-million pound investment by Tesco and Cavanna Homes which will sustain Holsworthy as market town," Mr Parsons said, explaining that a medium-sized Tesco store and 91 new houses will be built on the site of the existing livestock market.
"There is a town centre action plan coming out of this and, although people have voiced concerns in the past, I believe it will be very good for the centre of Holsworthy," Mr Parsons added. "Because of the new livestock market there will be an added presence of banks and solicitors in town. And the 91 new homes will be close to the centre, so we are going to have people walking up from those houses. They will also be using the town.
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"The presence of Tesco will also help stem the outflow we have of people going to shop in big supermarkets at Bude and Launceston," said Mr Parsons. "Holsworthy has already got a Waitrose, but that's not for everybody – so now we've got the best of both worlds.
"We've had tremendous support from the town community and from Holsworthy Hamlets Parish Council. Replacing the livestock market a mile out of town will also help alleviate traffic problems.
"The whole project will wash its own face," concluded the district council leader, referring to the fact that a substantial amount of the bill for the new market had come from Tesco and Cavanna Homes with additional funds being raised by Devon County Council. Torridge District Council, which is spending £500,000 of its own funds on the scheme, has estimated that the livestock market supports a total of 405 (FTE) full-time equivalent jobs and generates GVA (gross value added) worth £12 million to the regional economy – while creating a further 161 jobs and £8.3 million GVA in the town.
"The market is also a catalyst for the growth of other business sectors in the town and has attracted not just agricultural businesses, but also an unusually high presence of banks, solicitors, accountants, retail, catering, and the largest veterinary practice in the South West," said a council spokesman.
He added that the project also "unlocked" 14 acres of new employment land which was a "fundamental requirement" for Holsworthy.
Torridge's special projects manager, Vanessa Saunders, told the WMN that the new livestock market will be built by Morgan Sindall, a large contractor with previous experience in creating similar facilities across the country.
"They have incorporated everything a market like this could need – it will operate far more efficiently than the existing market - and we're hoping it will become a real hub for the region," said Mrs Saunders.
The market will be operated by the existing auctioneers, Kivells and it is hoped that the new facilities will attract additional sales. The district council will also earn rent from industrial plots which are being developed.