Belfast Telegraph

Investor sought for troubled firm

Government enterprise chiefs have been urged to fight for a new investor at a business site which is to close its doors for a second time.

Keith Prowse is to lay off 100 staff and shut its call centre in Lisfannon, Buncrana, Co Donegal - once home to the massive textile firm Fruit of the Loom.

Padraic MacLochlainn, Sinn Fein Mayor of Buncrana, called for enterprise and investment chiefs to prioritise a new development on the site.

"While this is a devastating blow to the workers and to Buncrana and Inishowen, we have to move immediately to market the top class, experienced staff and world class and state-of-the-art facilities at Lisfannon," he said.

Mr MacLochlainn said the company's chief executive Paul Burns had said he is already trying to attract other call centre firms to take up the purpose-built space in Buncrana.

"We need to all work together to ensure that our community does not lose hope in the potential to market Buncrana and Inishowen for investment. That will be our focus in the time ahead," Mr MacLochlainn said.

The parent company was understood to have suffered cashflow problems and was unable to compete effectively with modern events and ticket sales.

A meeting has been arranged for next Thursday involving IDA Ireland, employment agencies, the county council, Fas and cross party politicians. Senior management from Keith Prowse will also attend.

Mr MacLochlainn said he feared the site and state-of-the-art communications equipment could be sold off by an administrator rather than securing a new tenant for a site which is ready to go.

The closure on Sunday of the ticket sales centre will see 50 part-time and 50 full-time staff laid off. It handled ticket sales for entertainment events.

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