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Tuesday, February 12, 2024

Turfs up at new Stirling Mart

Work is set to start on United Auctions' new 11 million Mart at Hill of Drip, Stirling with Bruce Crawford, SNP, MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business conducting a formal turf cutting ceremony.

The ceremony is the culmination of more than four years' of work by Elphinstone and United Auctions, to replace outdated facilities at the nearby Kildean Mart, which will be demolished when the new building is completed.

The 52-acre site at Hill of Drip, just off the A84 on the western edge of the city, will become United Auctions' flagship auction market for the farming community in Scotland, supporting some 320 local jobs.

Bruce Crawford, who is an MSP for the Stirling constituency, said: "Investment of this kind is vital to sustaining Stirling's agricultural heritage for the next generation of farmers. Marts are important for both business and for social contact among farmers and I have every confidence that this modern facility will become an important hub for the Scottish farming community. Also with stringent new regulations on animal health it will mean that Stirling is in the vanguard of best practice."

The new mart will consist of a 13,500 square metre facility, designed to meet current standards for animal welfare with associated office facilities. It comprises two sale rings, 417 pens, five paddocks and associated offices (700 sq. metres) and lettable retail units, specifically for agricultural retail, of some 620 square metres.

Glasgow-based property development company Elphinstone promised to build a new mart when it acquired United Auctions in 2005. Elphinstone subsequently facilitated a management buy-back of the livestock company and remains involved with the business.

Ken Ross, Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Elphinstone said: "This investment fulfils a commitment we made when we acquired United Auctions. Right from the start we set out to provide a facility fit for the 21st century and to secure the future of United Auctions as the leading company in its field. Personally, I am delighted that we have been able to keep our promise."

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of United Auctions said: "The new mart reflects our confidence in our future as the market leader in livestock trading in Scotland.

"We have many people to thank, not the least our staff and the many hundreds of people who supported our ambitions and worked tirelessly on our behalf. This day has been greatly anticipated by all of us and we?re looking forward to watching the new mart take shape and preparing for the transition from Kildean."

The new auction mart is scheduled to be completed by summer 2009.

The demolition of the existing mart at Kildean will enable the potential of the Kildean loop to be unlocked and maximised with a proposed mixed use regeneration development comprising a new business park, housing and leisure facilities.

Elphinstone will be a partner of Stirling Council and other parties in progressing this multi-million pound transformation of the site, in line with the policies in the local development plan. The project will complement the nearby Raploch regeneration scheme, by providing jobs, extending the range of housing and improving the environment.