Ballyclare factory job losses ‘devastating blow’

Building materials firm Kingspan has announced the imminent closure of its factory outside Ballyclare with the loss of 23 jobs.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 6:44 pm

The company said it had engaged in a consultation process with staff regarding the future of its Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) production facility on the Springvale Road.

“Following a review of its operations due to declining sales, the company intends to consolidate all of its EPS production at its facility in Askeaton, Co Limerick,” a statement from Kingspan added.

“The proposed closure puts 23 staff members at risk of redundancy, following a consultation period. Kingspan will work with staff to explore the option to transfer to roles at other Kingspan facilities where suitable.”

Kingspan Springvale EPS site (image: Google maps).

South Antrim MP Paul Girvan expressed his concern at the proposals.

“The Ballyclare production plant currently employees 23 members of staff and plays an important role in the local economy,” he said.

“I have been contacted by concerned employees regarding the proposals and I will seek an urgent meeting with Kingspan. I will make clear the loss of this skilled workforce would be a devastating blow and will call on the management of Kingspan to rethink their decision.

“This is an extremely difficult time for all those impacted by the proposals and I stand ready to support them in any way I can.”

Trade union, Unite, was among those questioning the reason for the closure. Regional officer Kevin McAdam said: “Consultations between Unite and management have reached the end without any movement from the company. It would now appear that closure in the coming few months is imminent.

“We have tried to persuade the company to continue with the Co Antrim plant but it appears they are keener to concentrate their business in their plant in Co Limerick.”

--

Click here to read: New hotel will create 26 hospitality jobs

--

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.