THE farming and business community has been rocked by the ‘shock’ closure of an agriculture machinery dealership.

Administrators have been appointed at Bredy Agricentre, which has its head offices in Dorchester, and have announced they intend to cease operations with immediate effect.

A desperate hunt is now on to find a buyer to step in so that the business, which is believed to have around 40 employees, can be saved.

Bredy, which also has a country store as well as offices in Dorchester, is based at Louds Mill in St George’s Road.

County chairman of the National Farmers Union Paul Gould said the news had come as a blow to the local farming community.

He said: “It’s a bit of a shock to the local industry.

“It just illustrates how tough things are and have been.

“We can only hope they can find a buyer.”

The company opened depots in Shaftesbury in 2012 and Stockbridge in Wiltshire in 2013.

Mr Gould said that the closure of Bredy would leave a ‘big hole’.

He added that his thoughts are with those employed at the company and he was also worried for farmers who sourced machinery from the firm that needed parts replacing.

News of the sudden demise of a major employer in the town has also rocked the Dorchester community.

Visitors to Bredy’s store at Dorchester were surprised to hear that staff couldn’t serve them as administrators were there.

Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones added that it was disappointing to see a long established business in the county town hitting such troubled times. She said: “Hopefully somebody else will be able to come in and rescue it.

“It’s such a shame in the middle of an agricultural area when you are going to lose something like that.”

Town and district councillor Tim Harries said he was surprised to hear the news.

He said: “It has come as a nasty shock, it’s a comparatively big employer in the town.

“I’m sorry to hear it and wish all their employees well and have every sympathy for them.”

Mr Harries said that on the whole Dorchester’s economy was ‘thriving’ but added that even in good times sadly some companies can find themselves in trouble.

He said: “I think things are still on the up as a whole, it’s just a terrible shame for those particular people.”

A spokesman for administrators Deloitte confirmed that the firm had been appointed last Thursday.

The spokesman added: “The joint administrators, Robin Allen and Richard Hawes of Deloitte, intend to cease operations immediately whilst seeking a purchaser for the business and assets.”