Cattle mart plan for Darlington could bring 300 jobs
Plans to create one of the UK's largest cattle markets could bring up to 300 jobs to Darlington, it is claimed.
Darlington Farmers' Auction Mart Company wants to build a 50 hectare (123.5 acre) complex, near Burtree, on the outskirts of the town.
Darlington Council has welcomed the plan, estimating up to 300 new jobs for the area's agricultural sector.
The authority is expected to formally back the £17m proposals at a meeting later this month.
The plans would see the town's existing cattle market move from its Clifton Road site.
The new complex would feature a business park for agriculture-related companies and a biogas plant.
A spokeswoman for Darlington Council said: "The new premises will not only offer state of the art facilities for the auction of livestock, but will also create a centre of excellence for the agricultural and equine industry.
"It is hugely important with the potential to bring about new jobs and enterprise."
Stephen Aitken, director at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Company Limited, said: "If the bid is successful it will final part of the jigsaw in getting a new agricultural centre under way."