Anglo Beef Processors has gained its first foothold in the West Country for more than 20 years in a move it claims will strengthen its regional focus.

The purchase of Sturminster Newton Abattoir in Dorset would enhance ABP's strategy of providing local processing facilities, said a spokesman. "The acquisition strengthens the relationships we currently have with producers in the West Country."

The acquisition would also bring important benefits to those farmers who already supplied cattle into the abattoir, said ABP. They would "immediately benefit from the industry -leading conditions operated by ABP including payment for their cattle on the day they are weighed", said the spokesman. Owning a West Country site would also open the door to offering regional brands.

ABP said it would pump investment into the site in coming months to significantly increase throughput