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JTI tobacco factory closure date pushed back five months

The closure of the JTI tobacco factory in Ballymena has been pushed back for five months.

The remaining 60 staff who were due to leave the factory in May will now be kept on until October.

It was revealed in the Ballymena Guardian on Tuesday after JTI notified north Antrim MP Ian Paisley of the new closure date in a letter.

The decision of JTI to close down was announced in 2014 with the loss of 870 jobs.

And while the majority of staff left in 2016 -the company said the extension will "provide the flexibility to deliver our latest production plans".

In its letter the company said that Wrightbus group would take control of the 100-acre site on December 1 2017.

Read more: Wrightbus buys former JTI Gallaher site in Ballymena

It added: "We are most grateful to the 60 plus members of the Lisnafillan team who will continue to work in the business until October and to Wrights Group who will now take full possession of our factory site on December 1 2017."

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