JTI axe: Allister urges Invest NI to promote North Antrim

JTI which has announced it will be closing in two years. INBT42-203AC
JTI which has announced it will be closing in two years. INBT42-203AC

TUV leader Jim Allister says Invest NI must get up to speed with a jobs push for North Antrim in the wake of the JTI closure news.

He said: “I would commend the unions and staff of JTI for their hard work in trying to save jobs. It is now more important than ever for Invest NI to promote and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Sadly, the last five years Invest NI has only promoted 8 visits for North Antrim, while the four Belfast Constituencies had 739 FDI visits. This needs urgently addressed.”

Bannside TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston commented: “JTI Gallaher has been an institution in North Antrim, and I have attended various meetings with the unions to add my support to their mission to save the site and jobs. I am saddened that JTI have rejected their proposals.

“The focus now needs to be on utilising that manufacturing expertise and skill set that exists in North Antrim, therefore Invest NI and DETI need to step up to the mark.”