Belfast Telegraph

MEA council pitching for Heathrow business in new corporate plan

Council chief: Anne Donaghy
Council chief: Anne Donaghy

By Staff Reporter

Securing one of four logistics hubs for Heathrow Airport for the former home of tyre maker Michelin is a key aim for Mid and East Antrim Council, according to its new corporate plan.

The borough council said other economic aims included redeveloping Glenarm as a key tourist site and redeveloping St Patrick's Barracks, as it launched its plan for the next four years.

It is also aiming for investment in digital infrastructure and the realisation of £80m from the Belfast Region City Deal, which would fund the regeneration of Carrickfergus.

The council area has suffered more than 1,500 job losses in recent years, including the closures of tyre giant Michelin and cigarette giant JTI Gallaher.

Both manufacturers had large factories in Ballymena.

However, the former Michelin site in Ballymena has reached a shortlist in a UK-wide race to become a hub for logistics to serve Heathrow Airport, if controversial expansion plans go ahead.

The council said the corporate plan for 2019 to 2023 had been launched after consultation with members of the public.

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Maureen Morrow, mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: "This ambitious plan will shape our work, the services we provide, and how we deliver them for the next four years.

"Our council provides more services to citizens than ever before, ranging from responsibility for waste management, leisure and parks provision, to our crucial role in economic growth and investment, health, education, community safety, and safeguarding our environment.

Council chief executive Anne Donaghy said: "This corporate plan reflects the real need of our community and I am delighted so many members of the public engaged to help shape the plan."

Belfast Telegraph