Carmarthen Livestock Mart enjoyed the welcome sight of its first sale in nearly two years - and also welcomed some famous faces as it starts to re-establish its role as the rural hub of the local community, under new owners Nock Deighton Agricultural.

Former international rugby referee Nigel Owens, who also farms in the Gwendraeth Valley, was among those witnessing the return of an auctioneering presence in one of the most important livestock areas in the country.

“The market was only built in 2001 and was built as a premier facility for the sale of dairy cattle, as well all other classes of cattle, sheep and pigs,” explains Mark Burgoyne, Nock Deighton partner and cattle auctioneer.

“It was essential we brought that sales platform back to the local community, with producers until now having been forced further afield to sell stock. We also intend to create a one stop-shop and rural hub for the local community.”

The re-opening, which has seen a raft of employment opportunities to the area, will see the combination of a revitalised live sales ring and business hub, alongside some of the returning successful features of the old mart.

“We will provide all the services and facilities for the sales, but we understand that probably 50 per cent of the attraction of the livestock mart is the social aspect, giving the farming community the opportunity to engage and share their experiences,” adds Mr Burgoyne.

“We are delighted that as part of this commitment, we have welcomed back the previous team that had been successfully running the mart café, so our buyers and vendors will be pleased to see familiar faces and ample refreshments when they visit,” he adds.

Carmarthen will also provide the platform to help producers achieve a fair price for their stock in a competitive and transparent sales environment.

“This is the only sales platform that allows the producer to keep in control of their produce, and this is why we advocate the use of livestock marts. We work for you to achieve a fair price for your stock,” said Mr Burgoyne.

Carmarthen Livestock Mart is the third livestock market under Nock Deighton’s management, having started from Bridgnorth before moving into west Wales and adding Newcastle Emlyn to the portfolio.

Sales days at the new Carmarthen Livestock Mart are every Wednesday and Friday, and the first and second Monday of the month.