THE L & K Group, which runs livestock marts in Kendal and Lancaster, has re-branded itself as a regional ‘one-stop’ farm services company.

Formed in 2005 foll-owing the merger of two long-established marts, the group has now enhanced its North West Auctions (NWA) brand to widen support for the region’s farm-ers.

The group says it is now offering its broad-est ever range of ser-vices under the NWA name. As well as NWA Auctions, which deals with livestock sales, and NWA Professional, which provides agric-ultural business advice, the group now includes NWA Property, merged from the estate agency M B Hodgson and Son.

The re-branding, ann-ounced at a lunch host-ed by L & K Group at The Plough, Lupton, comes as work on the company’s new auction mart site next to Junc-tion 36 of the M6 cont-inues apace to meet an August deadline for opening.

Group chairman John Drinkall told the gath-ering: “The new site, together with the exist-ing site at Lancaster, puts us in a position to offer a professional, friendly and easily acc-essible livestock mark-eting facility to cover the whole of Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.”

John Hughes, of NWA Property, said: “Our client base is primarily rural and after seven years our farmer clients are fully aware of who North West Auctions are. We are able to offer the full service to our farmer clients covering the sale of livestock, property and land, valuations for all purposes, landlord and tenant matters — in fact, most matters relating to rural land and property.”

Mr Hughes said NWA Property would also be working with agents Fisher Wrathall to offer a ‘comprehensive plan-ning service’.

The re-branding comes as L & K Group exp-eriences record busi-ness at its Lancaster and Kendal.

Last year — described by NWA managing director Adam Day as a ‘turnaround year’ — saw turnover in excess of £35m in livestock value, excluding private and ‘off the farm’ sales.

The company traded 30,000 cattle, a rise of 3.7 per cent on the year, and more than 169,000 sheep, an increase of four per cent — with prices improving by 17 per cent.