The closure of the Michellin tyre factory in Ballymena is going to have a knock-on effect in the Causeway Coast and Glens, according to a top official at the local council.
Paul Beattie, a council official responsible for economic development at the Causeway Coast and Glens council, sounded a warning earlier this week about the impact of the Michelin closure on the local area.
The Michelin tyre factory in Ballymena, is to close in 2018 with the loss of 860 jobs.
Mr Beattie, addressing Councillors at a recent Leisure and Development Committee meeting, said: ““It would be remiss of me not to make some mention of the Michellin closure in 2018 - 860 jobs. We are all aware that the knock-on effects of this will be pretty huge. The travel-to-work area for a factory like that is going to be many, many miles. Those members who are here from the former Borough of Limavady will remember that whenever Seagate closed it affected everybody from Inishowen and right across the whole North Coast. Obviously these were high paying, secure jobs and there is a geographic multiplier that comes with that. It is also on top of 800 jobs going at JTI Gallagher.
“I suppose, in short, what I am saying is it not just in Ballymena. There are 500 suppliers to Michellin and you can rest assured that some of those will be from our area.”
Project boards are to be set up to manage major investment projects in the Causeway Coast and Glens council.
Councillors at the Committee meeting agreed that 10-member project boards should be set up to deal with major capital investment projects, including a proposed new sporting facility in Dungiven. The boards are intended to develop each project and then report back to council for approval from elected representatives with their proposals.
Cllr Trevor Clarke agreed with the proposal, saying: “It is nothing but good business sense.” Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan also agreed, adding: “It is simply good business practice.”