Mid and East Antrim agrees way forward for prosperity

Mid and East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force.
Mid and East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force.

Mid and East Antrim’s Manufacturing Task Force has agreed a blueprint aimed at ensuring the borough has a prosperous future as the “home of world-class advanced manufacturing and innovation firms”.

Steering group members including prominent private and public sector representatives backed plans aimed at driving economic growth, enabling digital innovation, supporting entrepreneurship, creating jobs and boosting industry.

This includes fully capitalising on major strategic investment opportunities through the Belfast Region City Deal, the area’s bid for a Heathrow Logistics Hub, discussions to locate a £60m Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Ballymena.

The Task Force is in the process of rejuvenating the local sector, which has been dealt a number of high-profile economic shocks, including the closures of Michelin and JTI Gallaher in Ballymena, and most recently, the entering into administration of Wrightbus.

Acting chair of the Task Force, Anne Donaghy, said the role of the body was more vital than ever in delivering on a series of ambitious plans to revitalise and revolutionise the manufacturing industry in Mid and East Antrim. We are using the expertise and skills of more than 50 representatives from manufacturing companies, industry bodies and the public sector to help map the sector’s path to renewed success. It is crucial we maintain our momentum.”