Farmers have welcomed the news weekly livestock sales will resume at the Welsh auction mart under its new ownership from July 10 after months of closure and uncertainty.
From Friday July 10, prime lambs and cull ewe sales will resume at the site under Sunderlands ownership.
Sunderlands is set to purchase Brightwells livestock business, comprising of shares in Hereford Market Auctioneers (HMA) and the lease of Builth Wells market, in their ‘largest acquisition yet’.
The company already operated HMA in partnership with Brightwells but the announcement will see them take sole ownership, with business to continue ’as usual’.
It comes as Builth Wells ceased operation in March when the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect due to Brightwells’ concerns about the site’s town centre location.
More than 100 farmers attended a vehicle protest at the site in June fearing it would remain closed once the virus restrictions were lifted.
Richard Hyde of Sunderlands said the company was delighted to announce the purchase of Brightwells’ livestock enterprise.
He said: "Powys has the highest density of sheep anywhere in the world and Sunderlands took the decision to
expand further their livestock auctioneering business from Hereford and Talgarth Markets to include Builth
"The current crisis has underlined the importance of home-grown food production and not to be reliant upon imports which can stop overnight, as this crisis has blatently pointed out.
"Sunderlands are pleased to invest further in British agriculture and particularly livestock production in the highest density sheep population in the world.
"We look forward to the support of the farmers in the Builth Wells area."
The Farming Union of Wales’, Brecon and Radnor county executive officer, Catrin Price, said: “News that the mart is re-opening is most welcome, its closure would have had a seriously negative impact on our rural community.
“It is a vital life line for our farmers and we hope that the mart, under Sunderlands, has a long and prosperous future."
Joint managing directors of Brightwells, Nick Gorst and Richard Binnersley, said the sale of the livestock enterprise would allow the business to ‘focus and redeploy [their] resources in established markets, such as rural processional services’.