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Job cuts at Titanic Belfast and Donnelly Group car dealership due to Covid-19 pandemic

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Titanic Belfast visitor centre and tourist attraction is closed during the coronavirus crisis (Liam McBurney/PA).

Titanic Belfast visitor centre and tourist attraction is closed during the coronavirus crisis (Liam McBurney/PA).

Titanic Belfast visitor centre and tourist attraction is closed during the coronavirus crisis (Liam McBurney/PA).

Around 75 jobs are believed to be at risk in Titanic Belfast as it’s hit by a fall in tourist visitor numbers and event bookings.

And independent car dealership Donnelly Group has said it’s making 17 redundancies after closing down its dealership in Omagh following lockdown.

The flagship Titanic Belfast attraction is a key venue for corporate events like dinners and conferences - as well as being a must-visit for tourists coming to Belfast.

But both markets have vanished as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown.

Titanic Belfast usually employs around 300 people and in January, announced plans to hire 80 new frontline staff on fixed-term contracts to work at the Titanic attraction and on the SS Nomadic.

But according to the BBC, 75 roles are now at risk - though a Titanic Belfast spokeswoman would not confirm figures.

She said: “Titanic Belfast, the operator of Titanic Belfast, has notified the Department for the Economy and its staff that it is beginning a period of consultation in relation to its staffing structure to secure the future of its business.

“This is an unavoidable situation given the challenging trading environment it is now operating in, due to the devasting impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the global tourism industry.

“Titanic Belfast recognises that this is a very challenging time for its staff, as well as its business, and therefore will not comment further on this matter.”

Meanwhile, Donnelly Group said it was making 17 redundancies following the closure of its Omagh site, out of a total of 24 staff. One apprentice was included among the 17 redundancies.

A spokesman said: “We informed customers some weeks ago that that we planned to cease trading from our Omagh location, with Vauxhall sales and aftersales now handled by our teams in Dungannon and Enniskillen. We are currently undergoing a consultation with our employees in Omagh. All our other locations are open and are welcoming customers for sales and after sales.”

Last week, dealership Charles Hurst parent company Lookers plc announced that 1,500 jobs among its 8,100-strong UK workforce were at risk as car sales collapsed during lockdown.

It’s understood around 200 jobs at Charles Hurst in Northern Ireland could be affected.

Belfast Telegraph