Council seeks urgent meeting amid jobs fears at car parts plant
LISBURN Council has vowed to do "everything it possibly can" to persuade a tyre repair materials firm not to uproot from the city and transfer its manufacturing to Belgium - a move that would plunge 53 staff on to the dole.
TECH Europe, whose parent company is based in the US in Ohio, has undertaken an operational review of the business, and is currently in a consultation period which is due to conclude within weeks.
And the fear is that, given the uncertainty and complexities around what could happen when the UK leaves the EU next March, an option being considered is to shut the plant at Ballinderry Road, despite it being profitable.
Alderman William Leathem, chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's development committee, said he was disappointed to hear that TECH Europe is considering relocating from its sole UK base.
He has requested an urgent meeting with the company on its plans for the local operation.
He said: “The Council is deeply concerned about these proposals.
"The Lisburn plant is profitable and delivers a significant percentage of its products across Europe.
"We are keen to work with TECH Europe, its workers and all relevant agencies to look at viable alternatives to relocation, to try and accommodate workers and equip them with important information and support through this uncertain time," Alderman Leathem added.
Lisburn has been TECH's European headquarters for many years, and around three quarters of its output is exported into the EU.
Parent company TECH, which also has operations in China, Japan, Brazil, has distributed high-quality tyre repairs and wheel service products since 1939.