AUCTIONEERING and land agency firm R G and R B Williams has secured its future in livestock marketing, having purchased the remaining shares of its out-of-town market site from its former property-owning partners.

Following the deal, Ross Market now joins only a small number of family-owned and run markets in the United Kingdom.

Previously sited in the centre of Ross-on-Wye, the livestock market relocated to its current position in the late 1980s in a move which welcomed improved facilities while also relieving congestion in the town.

Richard Williams, partner of R G and R B Williams, says: “The former property-owning partnership Coles Knapp and Kennedy were fortunate to purchase a field at Overross in 1985.

“My late father, Gwyn, always had a vision to build a modern out-of-town cattle market. In the mid-1980s he spent many days travelling the country gathering ideas to ensure the best possible market was constructed at Ross, which was then opened in 1988 by the minister of state for agriculture.”

On behalf of Coles Knapp and Kennedy, Gwyn designed the new site himself, with efficiency in mind. Boasting 31 unloading docks, including 12 for cattle and the remainder for sheep, the market is well-equipped to handle large volumes of stock.

The market has remained in the ownership of the partners of Coles Knapp and Kennedy since its inception, but following the purchase of the remaining shares of the site, is now solely owned by RG and RB Williams.

Richard comments: “Over the years I have faced significant pressure from my partners to close the market and redevelop the site. I am sure you will appreciate that neither my late father nor myself were very keen on this proposal.

“After several months of negotiation, I have now been able to purchase the remaining shares in the market, thus safeguarding its future.”

Nowadays, the market boasts weekly prime stock sales on a Monday of 2,000 finished lambs, 500 cull ewes, 80 fat cattle and 30 cull cows. Every other Thursday, a store cattle sale of up to 300 head takes place, joined by breeding ewes and store lambs, depending on the time of year.

A monthly furniture sale and quarterly poultry sales adding to the market’s offering.

Will Probert, a partner in the business, works closely alongside Richard and has a keen interest in developing livestock sales, having been named Marts the Heart new auctioneer of the year in 2016.

Richard explains: “We are now in a position to invest in the market to improve the facilities. I am very fortunate to have Will Probert as a partner who is doing an excellent job in increasing stock numbers. We both thank all our clients, old and new, for their support in the past and hope this will continue into the future.”