Paul Frew DUP MLA for North Antrim has met with Business in Pennybridge to discuss the state of the industrial estate.
Pennybridge is one of the largest industrial areas in Northern Ireland and very important to the economy of Ballymena & North Antrim.
He explained “Ballymena is in transition. We are in the throes of losing two major employers in the town. Yet government agencies have allowed our major industrial estate to fall into disrepair. Business people tell me it is embarrassing when they bring company representatives from other Countries over to view their premises in order to secure contracts.
The whole area needs to be brought up to an acceptable standard. Pennybridge has a high occupancy rate we need to ensure that continues. We need roads resurfaced, footpaths cleaned and some buildings are looking very shabby even some that are owned by Government agencies. What incentive is there for private business to improve their buildings when they have been slapped with a large increase in rates but the government building next door is rusting and rotting away?
Some businesses have invested lately in their buildings and the land around them this should be complemented to lift the whole area. When there are derelict sites or buildings they should be covered up somehow.
A lot of investment is going into the town centre , that brings it’s own pressure but we cannot ignore the plight of our other important and strategic sites . Future employment depends on it . “