Forfar Mart to close next month

Forfar Mart, the last livestock market in the Angus area, is to cease trading, its owners have confirmed.

Mark Dowie
Monday, 10th April 2023, 3:00pm
Forfar Mart to close next month

The last sale at the John Street premises will be held on May 4, before the market buildings themselves are put up for sale.

In a statement, the directors of operators Lawrie & Symington said that the sad decision had been taken to consultation with staff on the intention to cease trading at their Forfar market.

The board’s statement says that the move has been prompted by a reduction in cattle numbers passing through the market.

It said: “Forfar market has long provided a valued service to the agricultural community supported by an extremely loyal customer base.

"However, livestock marketed through Forfar continues to reduce year on year with cattle numbers this year back 30%.”

“Although we have identified other potential revenue streams for Forfar, the market’s main income source must be from livestock sales commission and current throughput numbers, coupled with ever increasing operating costs are not sustainable.

“The directors note the loyalty of their Forfar customers, both sellers and buyers and continue to thank them for their support.”

The Forfar facility in its current form was created in 1967 and was the last surviving in the Dundee and Angus area, which during the post-war period had six in operation. Latterly, the market’s Strathmore Hall has been used for public events including the Forfar Farmers’ Market and even as a polling station.

The statement continued: “Scottish agriculture has lost so many marts from traditional market towns over the years and we fear that the current downward trend in national livestock numbers will only exacerbate this problem in the future. We recognise the history of the market at Forfar and what its closure would mean to the farming community. The Board of Directors also have a responsibility to their shareholders and have not taken this decision lightly or hastily. Our staff remains our priority and it’s important that we work to support our Forfar team at this unsettling time.”

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