Mid and East Antrim Council’s manufacturing task force holds first meeting

The inaugural meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's manufacturing task force. INLT-06-711-con
The inaugural meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's manufacturing task force. INLT-06-711-con

The council’s manufacturing task force met for the first time on Monday in order to tackle manufacturing job losses and grow the local economy.

Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Anne Donaghy revealed that First Minister Arlene Foster had “displayed specific interest” in the task force during a meeting with Mrs Donaghy and Mayor Billy Ashe the previous week.

“Minister Foster has requested that she, along with some of her ministerial team each receive regular updates from this group,” Mrs Donaghy stated.

The first task force meeting was hosted by the Mayor and Mrs Donaghy and was attended by Ald Maureen Morrow, Cllr William McCaughey, Cllr John Stewart, Cllr Audrey Wales and Cllr Stephen Nicholl.

Cllr Ashe commented: “The task force was established following a meeting which the Chief Executive and I had with Ministers Bell, Farry and Storey in November, when we discussed the implications around Michelin’s planned exit from the Borough, on top of the exit already announced by JTI.”

He added: “Whilst Michelin and JTI are high on the agenda of this group, it will have a much wider remit than purely these two companies.

“I know we are all mindful of the strong manufacturing base in the Mid and East Antrim area and we must adopt a more proactive approach to supporting our indigenous companies and encouraging them to grow,” said the Mayor.