Closure of Enniskillen car firm 'a big loss', says Foster
The closure of one of Co Fermanagh's best-known family operations after almost 90 years in business is a "loss to the economy" said DUP leader and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster.
Her comment comes as the home of car sales firm TP Topping on Enniskillen's Dublin Road goes on the property market for £1.5m as its owners mark the end of an era by retiring.
Peter Little and Ronald Hurst, who run the firm, told media that the business came to a natural conclusion after the next generation of the family pursued careers in different industries, and the business had downsized in recent years.
Mrs Foster said: "Enniskillen is a place which is well-known for its family-run businesses. TP Topping was a well-renowned local business and it is a big loss to not only the local economy but the town itself.
"People will have many memories of their time either working for the company or indeed buying their first car.
"TP Topping has been a big name in business for the last 90 years. I want to wish the owners of TP Topping well as they retire."
Speaking to the Fermanagh Herald, Mr Little said: "We've had lots of high points over the years. Motor sales is the type of business that you wouldn't be in unless you like this. The complications of running any business don't get any easier and you get to an age where you think you've done enough."
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Mr Hurst praised his employees, adding: "Many of them are friends who had done business with the firm over several generations."
The home of the expansive car sales business is seeking offers in the region of £1.5m.
It is looking for potential buyers and businesses who want to tap into Enniskillen's close proximity to the border, said estate agent Eadie, McFarland & Co which has listed the sale.