Michelin Invest in Northern Ireland
Michelin is to invest a further £14.5 million into its Northern Ireland manufacturing facility. According to the Northern Ireland News Letter the company intends to make its Ballymena site the largest truck and bus tyre plant in the UK.
It is reported that a total of 12 projects will benefit from the cash injection, a move which will safeguard 1,200 jobs at the Ballymena base.
According to the on-line news source, Invest NI will support the investment with an offer of Selective Financial Assistance equating to a £2.7 million contribution towards the total project costs.
In an interview with the paper Enterprise Minister Barry Gardiner said: “This investment, which could have gone to a number of Michelin plants in Europe, represents a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland by a major global player, and demonstrates that Northern Ireland continues to offer an attractive location for advanced manufacturing.”
Michelin has been a key investor in Northern Ireland for 35 years with a particular focus on training. The Minister added: “The result is a highly-skilled workforce with the ability to embrace change and innovation. It is innovative projects like this which will help give the local economy a competitive edge.”
The announcement comes just days after the company launched a new business start-up initiative in the Ballymena Borough Council area in association with Invest Northern Ireland, Ballymena Business Centre, Ballymena Borough Council and the Ulster Bank.
The tyre manufacturer committed itself to the investment as part of its ‘social responsibility and sustainable development programme’. The company states its aims as economic regeneration and “stimulating growth for employment and increased manufacturing capacity.”
The Ballymena Michelin plant was built in 1969 and the company is the main employer in the Ballymena council area.