Livestock sales are to restart at Carmarthen mart under Nock Deighton, the company credited with reviving the fortunes of Newcastle Emlyn mart.

BJP Marts Ltd held its last sale at Carmarthen in July 2020 and the site has been closed ever since.

In the intervening months, farmers have had to sell livestock further afield and this has added additional cost and inconvenience to their farming business.

The future of the mart was looking uncertain but the site’s owner, Carmarthenshire County Council, has now confirmed that the lease has been awarded to Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP.

The company has a solid track record – since taking over Newcastle Emlyn livestock market in 2018 it has increased throughput by over 60 per cent.

Nock Deighton also operates Bridgenorth Livestock and Auction Centre.

The partners have pledged to make a “substantial initial investment’’ in upgrading the facilities.

Nineteen jobs will be created and work provided for local auctioneers.

Councillor David Jenkins, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for resources, described the company as an “excellent fit’’ for Carmarthen mart.

“The company has a long history, a great track record of running large livestock markets – including the very successful mart at Newcastle Emlyn – and a strong commitment to localism,’’ he said.

Nock Deighton was established 190 years ago.

The company’s partners said they were “delighted’’ they had been granted the opportunity to operate at Carmarthen.

They said the mart would be open for business “in the very near future’’ but no date has been set for that.

“We hope to provide a high quality service for all our customers, in what is the premier livestock facility for the rural communities of west Wales and further afield,’’ they said in a statement.

The announcement has been greeted with “huge relief’’ by farmers.

NFU Cymru county adviser for Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan, Aled Davies, said at one point farmers in the area were concerned the mart would never re-open.

“Rural marts, such as this one in Carmarthen, are intertwined with rural communities and help to enhance the local economy,’’ he said.

The mart at Nantyci has two auction rings with associated livestock pens together with modern purpose-built facilities including a reception and mart office, café area and bar.