Japanese manufacturer Ryobi's plant is 'jewel in crown' for Co Antrim
Japanese company Ryobi has been praised for its economic contribution in Co Antrim, where it employs nearly 500 people.
The Carrickfergus plant specialises in aluminium casting for the firm, supplying car industry giants including Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot Citroen, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.
And Paul Reid, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, praised the firm during a tour of its Carrickfergus site. The council has set up a manufacturing task force to support the area's big factories.
"Ryobi is a jewel in Mid and East Antrim's manufacturing crown," he said.
"The firm has operations in Japan, the USA, China and Mexico with its European operation based in Carrickfergus. It was fantastic to visit Ryobi and see first-hand the incredible work going on there.
"Ryobi and council enjoy a strong working relationship and we look forward to building on that through the manufacturing task force. Council is committed to doing all that we can to work in partnership with our manufacturers and maintain our reputation as the engine room of the Northern Ireland economy."
The council area's industrial base has faced setbacks, including the announcement of the closure of Kilroot Power Station in Larne and news of up to 95 job losses at bus manufacturer Wrightbus in Ballymena.