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NI infrastructure spending call as firms secure loans

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Cookstown Caravans

Cookstown Caravans

CP Hire

CP Hire

Dorman's

Dorman's

Cookstown Caravans

A plant hire company has urged government to begin spending on large infrastructure projects to kick-start the construction industry.

CP Hire's director David Hutchinson spoke as it joined two caravan companies to announce they had secured loans through the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

CP Hire, based in Coleraine, has taken out the loan through Danske Bank.

David Hutchinson, director of CP Hire, said momentum had been growing in the building trade before lockdown.

He explained the firm had cut its operation from seven depots to two and availed of the furlough scheme in order to stay in business.

And while construction would face difficulties in the short-term, he added Government spending could help secure its future.

"Our local government now needs to start spending on infrastructure, give the projects that are shovel ready the go-ahead and start planning for the long-overdue sewage system upgrade," Mr Hutchinson said.

Meanwhile, Cookstown Caravans, which also trades as Kirkcaldy Caravans in Scotland and LPC Caravans in Bangor, Co Down, have taken out six-figure loans through Ulster Bank's participation in CBILS. They have also taken capital repayment holidays.

Caravan parks have been closed since lockdown but are due to reopen on Friday.

Malcolm Sempey, of Cookstown Caravans, said: "There's still a lot of uncertainty around foreign travel this summer and the fallout of Covid-19 could be with us for some time to come yet, so we're anticipating quite strong demand when trading resumes."

Other businesses which have secured loans through CBILS and Ulster Bank include Dorman's and Mary's Bar and Restaurant, both in Magherafelt.

Belfast Telegraph