Work starts on £7m Herefordshire livestock market
Work is due to start on the construction of a new £7m livestock market in Herefordshire, after 10 years of planning.
The 48-acre site along the Roman Road to the north west of Hereford, will hold 8,000 sheep and 500 cattle.
The council said the construction work marked an "historic day".
The location of the old market in Hereford is part of multi-million pound redevelopment plans for restaurants and new shops.
Plans for that development have yet to be submitted but the council said it will still go ahead but it is mindful of the current economic climate.
End Quote Councillor Roger Phillips
It's taken us a number of years to get to this stage so I'm delighted that work is finally under way”
The new market will contain a sheep ring and cattle ring, almost 350 parking spaces and nine lorry wash stations.
There will be offices, a cafe, toilets, landscaped areas, a wildflower meadow and wildlife conservation area, the council said.
"This is an historic day not just for the city of Hereford, but the whole of the county," said Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the Herefordshire Council.
"The current livestock market is poorly located on a dilapidated site in the centre of the city, has inadequate facilities for 21st Century farming and has come to the end of its working life.
"The creation of the new livestock market is key to unlocking a huge area of land in Hereford's city centre and safeguarding our important farming heritage and economy for the future.
"It's taken us a number of years to get to this stage so I'm delighted that work is finally under way."
Livestock farming makes up 7% of the local economy, as well as supporting a tourism industry of more than £400m a year, a council spokesman added.