JTI closure: Area facing new economic challenge - O’Loan

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A Ballymena councillor says that the new Mid and East local authority must ‘lead economic development’ in the wake of the JTI closure decision.

SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan said: “I am very sorry to hear of the forthcoming closure of the JTI plant in Ballymena as a result of a company decision to transfer production to Poland and Romania. This is a huge blow to the loyal workforce and the local economy.”

“The task now is for all the relevant agencies to work to replace these jobs and over time I believe that this can be done.

“As it happens I heard this news while in Peterborough on a visit by Mid and East Antrim Council. This visit has shown me how a Council can lead economic development and transform the future for its citizens. Peterborough has done this. This must become the central task for our new Council and I believe that it will accept that challenge.”