Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier selling Northern Ireland production site for almost £20m

By John Mulgrew

Bombardier is selling off one of its manufacturing sites for almost £20m.

The Canadian-owned aerospace giant, which employs just over 4,000 staff here, has put one of its Newtownabbey locations on the market.

The Doagh Road site currently produces engine nacelles (casings), and also deals with after-market support for that end of the business.

It has gone on the market for £19.5m.

But it's understood the business will continue at the site in the event of a sale.

A spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph: "As we continue to optimise our manufacturing footprint, we are exploring how to make the best use of non-core assets at our Doagh Road site in Newtownabbey.

"Any commercial arrangements regarding non-core assets will have no impact on our operations there. Business will continue as normal."

It's understood the firm is also exploring opportunities for another Newtownabbey site at Church Road.

In March, Bombardier withdrew plans for a major retail development at the site.

It had proposed a mixed-use development that included a supermarket, filling station and industrial units on the Bombardier Aerospace site close to the Valley Leisure Centre.

Bombardier has cut around 1,080 jobs across its workforce over the last 18 months.

Meanwhile, just last month, it was claimed the company's boss here had been "given a seat at the top table" after being promoted.

Michael Ryan was promoted to a new role as president of aerostructures and engineering services.

It is understood he will continue working in Belfast and lead the team here.

Meanwhile, Bombardier's Northern Ireland staff accepted a 2% increase in wages, after unions balloted members on a pay deal.

The majority are based in Belfast and, among other work, produce the wings and parts of the fuselage for its C Series passenger planes.

Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Bombardier's Fred Cromer said the firm is expecting a further C Series deal before the end of the year. "The reputation of the plane is starting to build among our industry," he said last month.

In the last few weeks, Bombardier has landed a number of orders.

Budget Indian carrier SpiceJet signed a letter of intent for up to 50 Q400 turboprop planes from the Canadian-owned giant, worth up to £1.3bn.

Bombardier also signed a separate letter of intent with South African carrier CemAir for two of its Q400s.

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