THERE could be changes on the horizon at Oban Livestock Centre.

The Argyllshire livestock market, which is currently run under the auspices of Caledonian Marts Ltd, has had its operational responsibilities put out for tender.

“Caledonian Marts are not giving up the running of the site” explained Duncan Buchanan, of the Argyll and Islands Agricultural Trust. “The board of the directors for the market have simply decided to put the running of the business up for tender.

“It’s been a good few years now since we did this, and with it being a couple of years since the changes that took place at Caledonian Marts, this seemed like a good time to take these steps. It has been a decision taken by the board of directors.”

Oban Livestock Centre, which is run as a cooperative, has been run by Caledonian Marts for the past two decades, with the Upper Soroba site controlled from the main business centre in Stirling.

On the subject of the advertisement now appearing for an operator of the market centre at Oban, Caledonian Marts managing director, John Kyle, commented: “Caledonian Marts Ltd has had the privilege of operating the livestock Mart at Oban for the last 20 years and are delighted to have had the opportunity to provide an auctioneering service to the farmers and crofters of the West Highlands and Islands.

“It is a critical necessity to offer an efficient livestock marketing service, and competition, for producers in these hill and upland areas, and we have recently invested additional resources for the market to further improve our service.

“We are currently preparing to submit a tender to continue our existing contract with the owners of Oban Mart, and I am confident we will continue working on behalf of the farming community in the area for many years to come.”