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Cheshire farmers left without livestock market as Wright Marshall collapses

Farmers in Cheshire have been left without a permanent auction mart following the news that Wright Marshall, which operates Beeston Castle, has gone into administration.
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The firm, which also sells rural and commercial property and fine art and runs a lettings and property management business, stopped trading last Wednesday (June 19) and cancelled last Thursday’s sale.

 

The nearest markets will now be Market Drayton in Shropshire and Staffordshire’s Leek mart.

 

All 37 employees at the mart have been made redundant.

 

Anthony Collier and Ben Woolrych, partners at FRP Advisory, were appointed this afternoon (June 26).

 

Mr Collier said: “Following a period of challenging trading and a downturn in livestock volumes being sold through the rural auction mart, the company suffered cash flow pressures which left the directors with no option but to place the business into administration.

 

"The challenges facing the agricultural sector are well documented, and the downturn in livestock volumes being sold through the auction mart have resulted in this business making unsustainable losses.

 

“Our focus now is on identifying a purchaser for the other aspects of the business in order to maximise any returns for creditors, and of course to work closely with the Redundancy Payments Service to support all affected employees at what we know will be a difficult time.”

 

Dairy

 

The business, which employs 129 staff across eight sites, serves customers in Derbyshire, Shropshire and further afield, being particularly well known for its dairy sales which attracted buyers all sellers from all over the UK.

But it has faced a difficult trading environment over the last few years, with increasing competition from online platforms selling livestock and property.

 

Bovine TB has also been a major contributing factor, with cattle numbers, especially on the dairy side, falling back due to restrictions around Cheshire’s Edge area.


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The market has also lost business with abattoirs as a result of direct contracts between producers and processors.

 

History

 

Wright Marshall began trading in 2014 following the merger of Frank Marshall which ran Chelford market and Wright Manley which ran Beeston.

But the business has an even longer history. Marsh and Son, acquired by Frank Marshall years earlier, was founded in Northwich in 1843.

After the merger, Wright Marshall closed Chelford in March 2017 after 116 years of trading as it was earmarked for development.

It had planned to close Beeston and develop a new market in Middlewich, Macclesfield, but failed to secure funding. The firm had hoped to move to the new site by the end of 2015.

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