The market town without a mart: Livestock auction house faces closure

Farmers decry 'sad day' for the industry after livestock auctioneers Lawrie and Symington put Forfar business up for sale

Forfar could soon be a market town without a mart.

The last livestock auction was held in the town centre on Wednesday after the owners put their business up for sale.

Bosses from Lawrie and Symington say they have no confirmed buyers for the popular Angus venue.

Andrew Steel, the auctioneer’s director, told STV News: “We do have offers in but we can’t say too much but we will know better next week.”

The closure will have a wide ranging impact as staff will lose their jobs and farmers face more than an hours drive to the nearest auction houses in Inverurie and Stirling.

Farmer Louise Nicoll has concerns about how the mart’s closure will affect the Angus community. “We won’t be able to hold many of the community things that take place,” she said.

“I help with carols at the mart at Christmas time and we also have RHET (Royal Highland Education Trust) who come in and teach local school children about farming – that now won’t go ahead either.”

The mart is still an important place for many who have retired from a career in agriculture. It’s where they meet up with old friends and welcome the next generation of farmers.

David Lumgair’s family have sold livestock at the mart for the last 90 years.

He said: “It’s a sad day. We are still hoping something might turn up yet. We’ll never say we’re beat. We hope we can continue in some way because the cattle on the farms at the moment have to go somewhere.”