More than 120 farmers turned up in their trucks in Builth Wells to show their support for reopening the town’s livestock mart.

It followed increasing concerns from the local farming community and the Farmers’ Union of Wales about Builth Wells Market’s ongoing closure during the coronavirus lockdown.

Local farmer Rob Powell, who helped organise last week's gathering, said he was “over the moon” with the support which showed the strength of feeling is “running high at the moment”.

“We’ve been badly let down by Brightwells,” he said. “We’re just very disappointed that they’re not doing enough.

“I think they’ve been disrespectful to a lot of older farmers and families who have been there for generations.”

Operator Brightwells insisted the company can’t re-open the site under current coronavirus lockdown restrictions because of its location of the market, but discussions with Powys Council about doing so are continuing.

Irving Parry, director and chair, said: “The directors of Brightwells have already indicated that we are in discussions with Powys County Council regarding the reopening of this market.

“It was temporarily closed due to Covid 19 regulations as it is crossed by a public right of way, and opens directly onto a public car park, over which we have no control.”

Powys County Councillor and farmer David Price said there had been “tremendous” support at the “very respectful” protest in a car park near the mart on Sunday afternoon.

“It was very heartening to see the rural community come together to support what they care passionately about,” Cllr Price said.

“It’s very disappointing driving past your own mart that’s closed to be going to Rhayader, Talgarth or even to Hereford. You want to be supporting your local market, it brings people to the town.”

Mayor of Builth Wells and farmer Cllr Gwyn Davies said the gathering was a “show of strength and unity”.

“It’s frustration more than anything at the moment for the farming community,” he said. “It’s a loss for Builth and the farming community.”

Builth Wells Market has remained closed since the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were introduced in March.

Catrin Price, FUW Brecon and Radnor county executive chair, said: “The market is a vital lifeline in the town and for the farming community.

“If this market closes permanently farmers will have to travel much further to sell their stock, which will eat into already dwindling returns on livestock and adds further to the pressure the industry is already under, not just from Covid-19 but also of course Brexit.

“The worry always is that if a mart shuts, it will not re-open and new sites are rarely found. We will continue to liaise with the County Council and Brightwells on this matter and do everything we can to see this market reopened as soon as possible.”