Looking back... Speculation that missiles were to be manufactured in Ballyclare

There was speculation that a missile factory was to set up business in Ballyclare in early 1959.

According to the Larne Times, Short Bros and Harland was considering a return to the town with the possibility of locating on the site of the former paper mill for the production of missiles.

Shorts began production in the town in 1956 at the paper mill site and spent almost £30,000 on improvements.

Two hundred workers were employed for the manufacture of aircraft components.

The factory later closed, but by 1959 rumours were rife that the company would return to the town for missile manufacturing.

A spokesman for the company said that there was “no immediate prospect of such a move”.

“However, in four or five months, if Shorts finds itself crowded out, the position could change and they may come back,” he added.