JTI (Japan Tobacco International) has announced a £5m ‘legacy commitment’ to support job creation and skills development for the Ballymena community together with support for disadvantaged adults.
This follows the Company’s decision in 2015 to close its Lisnafillan manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.
Operating from 2017 onwards and delivered via a Charitable Trust, the legacy fund will concentrate on long-term support for a small number of major projects to ensure maximum impact.
Work to create the Charitable Trust will now commence and the Company is delighted to announce its intention to appoint Ian Paisley, Member of Parliament for North Antrim, as the inaugural Chairman of this new Trust. Ian Paisley MP will be joined on the Board by James Perry, Vice Chair of the Ballymena Business Centre and current High Sheriff of County Antrim, Pat McCallion, former Senior Shop Steward for the TGWU at the Lisnafillan Factory and Chairman of the Ballymena Credit Union and Karen Reynolds, JTI’s Head of Community Relations.
Further Board members will be appointed in the forthcoming months.
Charlie Cunningham-Reid, JTI UK’s Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications said: “We have supported the local community in Northern Ireland since Tom Gallaher’s very first charitable donation in 1897. Following the announcement of our factory closure, JTI made a commitment to continue this support and we believe the creation of this trust will leave a lasting legacy for the people of Ballymena”.
Ian Paisley MP said: “JTI / Gallaher has been at the heart of my constituency for many years and this significant commitment by the company to the local community will help deliver real opportunities for job creation and skills development. I look forward to working with the Trust and the local community to maximise the positive impact of this legacy for the people of Ballymena”