Belfast Telegraph

Plans to turn Ballymena Michelin site into business park

Tyre manufacturer Michelin has announced plans to convert its Ballymena factory into a business park.

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The Raceview Road facility has been sold to developers Siliverwood, who own and manage the Silverwood Buisness Park in Cragavon, and it is expected 10 acres of the site will be given to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

In November 2015, Michelin announced 50 years of operation at the site would come to an end in April of this year due to rising energy costs and falling demand for truck tyres in Europe.

The site will go into consideration for becoming a partner logistic hub for Heathrow Airport, with it in contention alongside five other sites in Northern Ireland.

If chosen, the site would aid the expansion of Heathrow Airport, with construction on the £14bn third runway project expected to begin in 2020.

The council has also announced it also plans to create a centre for manufacturing excellence.

Since the announcement of the closure the company has taken measures to assist the 840 employees at the site transition into other employment.

Darren Costello of Silverwood Business Park Limited, said: “Silverwood are delighted to have purchased the Michelin premises in Ballymena and are looking forward to developing the premises into a mixed-use business park and bringing jobs back to the site.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “This deal is great news for Ballymena and Mid and East Antrim, and we would like to thank Michelin for how this project has been handled. They have honoured their commitment to an extended two-and-a-half-year run-down period and from day one they have focused on supporting employees.

“We would also like to thank them for brokering a deal which sees the council being gifted 10 acres of land."

Silverwood employ more than 1,000 people at its Craigavon site, which has the potential for more than 1.5 million sq ft of commercial space.

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