‘Preferred bidder’ emerges for Louth Cattle Market site as decision day looms

ELDC headquarters at Manby
ELDC headquarters at Manby

East Lindsey District Council’s Executive Board will decide next week whether or not to formally recommend the sale of the Cattle Market site to Full Council. A ‘preferred bidder’ has now been chosen out of fifteen bidders - all of which are based upon the provision of a food supermarket.

Property consultants Chase & Partners have recommended the sale of the site to ELDC’s Finance and Property Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Upsall, who has subsequently made the recommendation to the ELDC Executive Board.

The Executive Board will meet on Tuesday (June 3) at 10am to decide whether they will also support Coun Upsall’s recommendation. If so, the Board will make a recommendation to the Full Council, which would make the final decision on whether to sell the site at their next meeting on July 23.

Fifteen different companies made bids for the Cattle Market site, all of which based on food supermarket provision. Six of these bidders were short-listed and interviewed at the beginning of May, and “a clear preferred bid” emerged.

None of the bidders have been named, and due to commercial confidentiality the name of the preferred bidder will not be revealed at Tuesday’s Executive Board meeting.

ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, Councillor John Upsall, said: “We need to continually review our assets to ensure they are providing good value for money to taxpayers. The Cattle Market site is significantly underused, with a market taking place on a Thursday morning only.

“As a result of this, and the significant level of interest in the site following our recent marketing exercise, I am recommending the Executive Board asks Council to consider the sale of the site.

“The Council has an obligation to provide a Cattle Market facility in Louth. Should the District Council decide to sell the existing Cattle Market site then options for a viable replacement facility will be considered by the Council.”

The Louth Livestock Market Scrutiny Panel, established last year, will present its full report at the Full Council meeting on July 23.

A 4,200-strong petition will also be presented at Full Council from the campaign group Keep Louth Special, which opposes the sale of the Cattle Market site for a supermarket and have said they will launch a legal challenge if ELDC decide to sell the site.