‘Enterprise Zone’ needed in Ballymena area says Swann

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne should give the green light to forming an ‘Enterprise Zone’ in Ballymena, says Robin Swann.

Mr. Swann expressed ‘bitter disappointment’ that the Chancellor announced a further 26 Enterprise Zones in his Autumn Statement, but has failed to name even one in Northern Ireland.

The UUP Assemblyman said: “I had raised the matter in writing with both Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor recently. In my letter, I urged both of them to specifically consider Ballymena as a location for an Enterprise Zone in North Antrim given the recent economic blows which have hit the town with the announcements of job losses from JTI and Michelin.

“These losses, coupled with past job losses involving Pattons, mean that Ballymena urgently needs an economic boost and a designated Enterprise Zone would have been a first step.

“Ballymena needs radical economic action, not meaningless rhetoric or empty promises,” said Assemblyman Swann.