Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena electrical firm to close with loss of 58 jobs

JBE employ 58 people at their Ballymena factory. Credit: Google Maps
JBE employ 58 people at their Ballymena factory. Credit: Google Maps

Ballymena-based company JBE Mechanical Electrical has announced it has gone into administration, with 58 jobs set to be lost.

JBE, who specialise in mechanical and electrical engineering, has been in business since 1983 and worked on projects in the education, healthcare and retail sectors across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Gerard Gildernew of Gildernew & Co, Accountants and Insolvency Specialists, has been appointed as the administrator by JBE's directors.

He is currently assessing the options available to the business and is in the process of notifying the firm's suppliers.

The firm's 58 staff have been notified of the situation and a further meeting has been scheduled with management for next week.

Founder and managing director of JBE, John Blair, said the situation has come about due the challenging market conditions and the loss of several significant contracts.

“It is with the deepest regret and profound sadness that we have been forced to take the step of placing the company in administration after 35 years of successful trading," he said.

"In recent years, despite the challenging market conditions, we worked relentlessly to maintain a profitable business, however the struggle became overwhelming due to significant losses incurred on several Scottish contracts and we could no longer maintain our position.

"I would like to place on record my appreciation of the skills, and expertise of JBE’s hard working employees and recognise their professionalism and loyalty throughout.”

Paul Frew, DUP MLA for north Antrim, said he was "greatly saddened" by the announcement.

"As always I will be in contact with the company and its employees to give any support needed. Having worked for the company myself in the past, I know that many will have fond memories of their time as an employee," he said.

"The company was well known for its high standard of work and professionalism, winning very prestigious contracts both at home and overseas. It will be a loss to the town and importantly the employees, particularly at this time of year.

"Ballymena has suffered many job losses. Small business in the area will feel the impact of this with a reduced market, not forgetting those who traded with JBE.

"I hope that by working together solutions can be found as soon as possible to help boost the economy and the livelihood of people in the area.

"However, today my thoughts are with those who will feel this news most acutely, therefore it is important that we ensure everything is done to minimise the impact.”

In 2014 and 2015 manufacturing in the north Antrim town suffered significant setbacks with the announcements of the closures of the JTI Gallagher tobacco factory and the Michelin tyre plant, which resulted in the combined loss of more than 1500 jobs.

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