WELL-KNOWN auctioneer Paul Gentry is to joining Darlington Farmers Auction Mart as head of primestock sales.

Mr Gentry, currently managing director of livestock at North West Auctions, said the move had come about as a result of a desire to return to weekly primestock sales.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed my time at North West Auctions and can’t praise the team here enough for the warm welcome and support I’ve received since I joined. However, the lure of selling prime cattle and sheep on a weekly basis at Darlington is too strong to resist.

“With the significant investment being made in first class facilities at Darlington and the opportunity to work with a team I know well having filled in for the late Stephen Aitken in the past, I am relishing the chance to return to weekly selling duties.”

Alongside selling both prime cattle and sheep on a weekly basis Mr Gentry will be assisting sales director Scott Ferrie with store and breeding cattle sales and will sit on the board of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart.

Mark Dent, chairman of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart, said the board was looking forward to Mr Gentry joining the team on the cusp of an exciting new future for the company in its new auction centre.

“Paul is well respected in the livestock industry and, in our view, one of the best primestock auctioneers in the UK. He brings with him a wealth of experience, both in and out of the rostrum. We have been fortunate to have worked with Paul in the past, so we know he will settle in well with our highly dedicated and skilled team,” said Mr Dent.

Mr Gentry said he was sorry to leave North West Auctions and that he was leaving behind a great team. “I wish them all the very best for the future. My last sale will be the Limousin Society sale in conjunction with Melton Mowbray Market on Saturday, April 18.

“With recent upheavals in the Midlands’ livestock market sector it is important to offer those vendors who have supported me for so many years some continuity and to repay their invaluable loyalty,” explained Mr Gentry.

He added that the opening of the new market at Darlington in May offered the chance to further develop the already excellent primestock sales and potentially draw greater numbers of stock from further afield.