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Caithness News Bulletins July 2003

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New Mart Opens On the Edge Of Dingwall 15 July

Dingwall & Highland Marts opened their new Mart on the edge of Dingwall.  Captain Roderick Stirling, Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh opened the mart on 15 July 2003.   A huge crowd representing farmers in the Highlands turned out for the opening.  

The new mart is built on ground which was part of Humberston farm the whole of which the mart bought to provide not only the mart but significant grazing for animals from all over the Highlands and Orkney.

An inaugural show was held with some superb cattle on show.   The first sale takes place on Wednesday 16 July 2003 when over 1600 cattle are already booked into the sale.

Dingwall has been a mart town for almost 120 years with the first two centres established in 1884.

Hamilton and United auctions formed a joint company in 1993 in Inverness but threw in their lot two years later with Dingwall auction mart, forming a new company Dingwall and UA Partnership.  In 2000, DAM  - who still owned the mart premises bought out UA's 50% shareholding and there was another name change, to Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of DAM.

Despite the ravages of BSE in 1996 and Foot and mouth in 2001 - when the future of all auction marts appeared to be in jeopardy - chairman Edward Mackenzie, managing director Kenny Mackenzie and the mart's directors decided to start a new era in the progress of Dingwall as a market town.

Shareholders gave the proposal - to build a new, purpose-built mart on the southern approach to Dingwall at Humberston Farm  -their unanimous backing and, thanks to Tesco's purchase of the old mart site, a large percentage of the money required was raised.  Other funding came from -
SEERAD/European Union -Processing and Marketing Grant Scheme of 560,000
Ross and Cromarty Enterprise  - a grant 159,000
Highland Prospect (Highland Council) -  - a loan of 350,000

Dingwall & Highland Marts Limited
Bailechaul Road
IV15 9TP
Tel 01349 863139