North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA and UUP Chief Whip Robin Swann has continued to promote the Ballymena area as an ideal site for a proposed new UK manufacturing base for Spanish train maker, CAF.
Mr Swann, the Chairman of the Stormont Public Accounts Committee, said: “After it emerged that CAF, the Spanish rolling stock manufacturer, was planning to build a production and assembly plant in the UK, creating over 200 jobs, I wrote to the Minister for the Economy highlighting that the opportunity should not be missed to promote Ballymena as a potential site.
“We have the engineering skills here, and due to the imminent closures of major manufacturing facilities at JTI Gallaher and Michelin, we have a pool of labour looking for work.
“I have received a response from the Minister confirming that Invest NI has met the UK representative of CAF to put the case for Northern Ireland. However, I am slightly disappointed by the somewhat defeatist tone of the correspondence which suggests that the UK mainland is the preferred option for the company.
“I urge the Sinn Fein/DUP dominated power-sharing Executive not to give up so easily. My constituency has the manufacturing expertise and experience to do the job for CAF. Even at this stage, through Invest NI, the Executive should go the extra mile to try to attract rolling stock production to Ballymena,” said Assemblyman Swann.