Multi-million pound plans to regenerate Melton Cattle Market have received a major Government funding boost.
Melton Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership heard this week that their ‘Growth Fund’ bid for £3.5 million to help secure the cattle market’s future was successful.
This money, together with an allocated £2 million from the council’s capital receipts budget, will provide funding for phase one of the project - namely the relocation and replacement of cow sheds which will safeguard the livestock market on the current Scalford Road site for the next 20 years. The council said a planning application for these works was expected be submitted in the near future.
Phase two will be the development of an ‘opportunity area’ for food and drink and rural related activities.
Melton borough councillor Joe Orson said: “We’re delighted Central Government have approved this funding and shown support for the local rural economy. It’s a landmark decision for Melton, securing the long-term future of the cattle market - a key asset in the rural community and economy within Leicestershire and wider region.
“We now have a greater degree of certainty for the project and a green light for the next stage.”
The project is expected to bring additional benefits at the market by providing an enhanced division between livestock and visitors, resulting in better safety around the site, and improved traffic flows in and around the site.
Negotiations have begun with the cattle market partners for a new 20-year lease agreement on the site.
A council spokesman said: “The existing facilities, especially those for auctioning of cattle, are in a poor condition and no longer fit for purpose. They don’t meet the animal welfare standards achieved by more modern markets. Replacement pens are needed to ensure the livestock market remains safe, competitive and continues to comply with increasingly stringent DEFRA requirements.
The grant funding also means the council can avoid an estimated £1 million of patch-up repairs expenditure on an asset that has reached the end of its useful life.”
The council wants to hear from people of the borough and those connected to the market on what sort of facilities they’d like to see on the ‘opportunity site’. E-mail LivestockMarket@melton.gov.uk