Loss of firm has worrying effect on village
Published 28/11/2007 | 08:25
There is a sombre mood floating through the small Co Antrim village of Cloughmills as the community begins to come to terms with the loss of the town's largest employer.
Since Reid Transport announced it had gone into administration last week, there has been a fear within the community that many businesses will suffer severely as a result, with some scared the closure will devastate the town.
Around 200 employees would have shopped and eaten in the centre on a regular basis, bringing in the much needed income for the select group of retailers that make up Main Street.
The failed haulage firm also Loss ofbrought in workers from different parts of the UK and Ireland, putting this tiny village on the map.
Steven Magill, who runs the butcher shop, explained the past week had affected his business.
Besides selling a range of different meats, the store also has a separate deli section which was always busy at lunch times. But over the past week, trade has been very slow.
"I would have to say that over the past week the deli side of the shop has been affected," he said.
"Most lunchtimes there would be between two to three dozen guys from Reids in here getting their lunches. It's a bit hard to say at this stage if it has affected the rest of the shop because Christmas is generally a bit busier but I think it will.
"There is a bad feeling in the village at the moment. Everyone is trying to help out as much as we can. The local church has been helping out with the migrant community and everyone has been keeping an ear out.
Stephanie Gray, manager of The Millside restaurant in the town where many of the workers would go for their "Saturday fry" after their shift, said they were worried the closure would have a dire affect on business.
"Obviously if they are not there it will affect us," she said.
"It is really sad to see it happening. A lot of the guys would be in here most days and certainly on Saturdays after work... It will affect the whole town. A lot of people moved to Cloughmills because their partners worked at Reids. They all bought houses. This is obviously going to affect everyone."
A staff member from Cost Cutters in Cloughmills, who did not want to be named, said it was too early to tell if the closure had affected their business but expected that it would.
"It is just so disappointing... You can't help but have sympathy for the workers being so close to Christmas and all."