If Michelin site can be secured as part of the Heathrow Hub it ‘will be a game changer’

The last workers left the Michelin factory on Tuesday.
The former Michelin factory.

IF a role can be secured for the former Michelin factory in Ballymena as part of the Heathrow ‘Hub’ it will “truly be a game changer for employment in this borough” a former mayor says.

Larne councillor Paul Reid was speaking at the monthly meeting of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council after Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy explained that the building of the third runway at Heathrow Airport is worth £187 billion to the UK economy.

She said four hubs are planned across the UK and told councillors: “We hope there will be one in Northern Ireland”.

Ms Donaghy said if the hubs are successful they will be used for other major projects across the UK.

She urged local businesses to register as suppliers for the project.

The Chief Executive asked councillors to inform local businesses that there was an opportunity and workshops would be held to help them get registered.

Ms Donaghy said: “This is the Michelin site and the new owner Darren Costello has been working very closely with Council in terms of the opportunity to host such a hub.”

Getting a Heathrow Hub in Northern Ireland will mean £5 billion to the local economy and 5,000 jobs, the Chief Executive added.

She cautioned there was no guarantee of success in bidding for a hub but she stressed the Council will be doing all they can to bring the jobs here.

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