Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Seagate plant 'will kick-start economy'

One of the businessmen who helped buy the stricken former Seagate plant in Limavady said that 'fly by night' companies and firms solely propped up by funding bodies will "not be welcome".

The spokesman for the Tuscan group, a conglomerate of just over 20 people with backgrounds in various sectors, said that there is one confirmed new tenant and two potential new clients based in the manufacturing sector, already interested in occupying part of the Dowland Road complex, which comprises a 200,000 sq ft building with 26,000 sq ft of office space and 17 acres of land.

He added that it is hoped the retention of the building for the community would help kick-start the economy in Limavady, which was badly hit by the closure of Seagate and other big firms.

Invest NI paid £11.16m from 1999 on to Seagate towards the costs of the factory, of which £7.9m was repaid in April 2009.

The site at Aghanloo was taken over by the Limavady Gear Company in 2009, which eventually went into administration in October 2010 with the loss of up to 30 jobs.

In 2008, the last of 1,000 workers at the Seagate electronics production plant left the building.

The Tuscan group is thought to have paid less than the asking price of £1.3m. "This borough was left in an awful state by companies like Seagate, Huco, Benelux and Consolidated Micrographics," the spokesman said.

"These firms were funded by Invest NI and the IDB and they came, got what they wanted and left and people were out of a job and the shops in the town were badly hit.

"We have some fantastically qualified engineers, and skilled graduates coming out of the North West Regional College. The place does need a bit of tidying up outside and inside but the fabric of the building is sound and the office space is in good repair so there is potential for lots of different types of businesses.

"Things are bad now but they are not always going to be bad.

"We want good quality local businesses who pay reasonable wages and we will offer attractive rents. We are looking for entrepreneurs, manufacturing companies, start-ups, no fly-by-nights, no-one relying on Invest NI or any other funding body."

The complex is set to be officially launched next month.

The spokesman said anyone who wanted to inquire about the venture should call 07764 512571 or 0780 1012251.

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