More than 250 people have turned out for the opening sale at Kendal's new auction mart at the Moss End Rural Business Park site.
Around 1,500 sheep are being sold at the auction, which is proving just as popular as the sales held at the old auction mart.
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More than 8,000 people are expected to attend over the three day event, which starts at 7pm tonight.
The local MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats says it was a "joyful" day for locals and former locals alike.
Detectives say the men have shown "no remorse for their actions whatsoever".