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Jobs to go in Belfast plant closure

Around 100 jobs could be lost with the closure of an engineering factory in east Belfast.

American-owned Howden UK makes fans and heat exchangers.

The firm has premises in more than 17 countries. The company said some of the work in Northern Ireland would transfer to Glasgow but employees would be offered alternative employment if possible.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to align our business with the needs of customers, Howden has carefully reviewed all of our operations and propose to close our Belfast factory, with some of the current functions and roles transferring to our Renfrew site.

"The company will fully consult on the proposals with employee representatives and trades union representatives immediately, and with individuals potentially affected thereafter.

"The purpose will be to look at opportunities to minimise the impact of these changes to our associates and the company will endeavour to offer suitable alternative employment to those affected if possible."

The firm recently announced its UK-based compressor operations would move on to a single site this year.

It added: "Our 2014 strategic review also highlighted the fact that we have significant overcapacity in our divisional manufacturing footprint and at the same time, the markets in which we operate are steadily changing.

"This shows no sign of improving with the vast majority of sales opportunities being in lower cost regions such as China, India and South East Asia where local, low cost suppliers are a major threat to our market."

The factory was formerly known as Sirocco Engineering.

East Belfast Westminster Alliance candidate Naomi Long said: "It is vital we work with the community, workers and organisations to help create the conditions where company closures and job losses on this scale become less common, and other organisations see this area as a place to invest."

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