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Eden auction mart gets major upgrade
THE owners of an Eden auction mart have ploughed £150,000 into improving its efficiency and catering.
New facilities, including a canteen, offices, electrical, lighting and sound systems and an upgraded entrance, have been unveiled at Kirkby Stephen Auction Mart.
The investment of owners Harrison and Hetherington comes 10 years to the week since the company acquired the site.
The changes are aimed at cementing the auction mart’s place at the heart of Kirkby Stephen’s farming community.
Officially opening the facilities, Harrison Hetherington executive director Dawn Harrison said: “Through this investment we are adding another chapter in the heritage of Kirkby Stephen Auction Mart.
“Although it has a proud history, as a company we know that it also has an exciting future. There are a growing number of farmers who are truly committed to Kirkby Stephen and enjoy the tradition of coming to a local mart.”
The new changes were revealed just in time for one of the major sales of the year, the prize show and sale of NEMSA gimmer lambs, as well as forthcoming major autumn sales.
The team at Kirkby Stephen consists of four full-time members of staff, headed up by auctioneer Mark Richardson, a local farmer’s son.
David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington director of operations, said: “We have been upgrading the facilities since we acquired Kirkby Stephen 10 years ago.
“During this time, sales have seen the mart grow from strength to strength and, as a result, the number of farmers and customers using the mart has increased.
“As we are attracting buyers from the length and breadth of the country - they are spending more time here, so it was very important that we invested in these key areas to meet their needs.”