Michelin Development has appointed Noel Mulholland to intensify its campaign to create and support employment in Co Antrim.
Last year Michelin Development - the small business funding and support arm of Ballymena manufacturer Michelin Tyre - helped create a potential 58 jobs by providing 15 base-rate loans worth a total of more than £200,000.
Now Mr Mulholland - alongside existing Michelin Development business development manager Cecil Caldwell - will be tasked with ramping up its funding and mentoring efforts.
He said: “Michelin Tyre is very conscious of the effect the closure of its Ballymena factory will have on the local area and we are absolutely committed to doing all we can to mitigate that impact.
“Michelin Development will do whatever it takes to help new businesses set up and to help existing small businesses to thrive and to take on new employees.”
The news comes after Michelin forged links with four local development agencies - LEDCOM in Larne, Antrim Enterprise Agency, Carrickfergus Enterprise and Mallusk Enterprise Park - to help it reach as many potential businesses as possible.
Mr Mulholland said: “That move showed we were very serious about job creation not just in Ballymena, but also in a much wider area.
“This area has many advantages for small businesses, not least its hard-working people, and we are determined to help as many of those businesses - and people - as possible.”
Mr Mulholland has worked for Michelin for almost 30 years, having joined the company as an industrial engineer in 1988.
Since launching Michelin Development in Ballymena in 2004, Michelin has provided more than £1.8 million to small businesses in the area, helping to create the potential for more than 500 jobs.
For more information on Michelin Development visit michelindevelopment.co.uk