MEP Diane Dodds has praised the “great work” of businesses and community groups throughout east Antrim following a visit to the area.
Accompanied by East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, Diane Dodds stopped in Larne, Newtownabbey and Carrick during her visit to the constituency earlier this month.
“The private sector in east Antrim has always had so much to offer the Northern Ireland economy, and in today’s climate this is no different,” she said.
“It was very informative to visit one thriving firm in Larne, Terumo BCT, to learn of its work in developing products used in the treatment and transfusion of blood worldwide. Earlier this year, Terumo BCT announced that with support from Invest NI, it will create approximately 400 local jobs in the next few years. The company will also spearhead innovative research and development activities, assisted by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). As an MEP, I find this combination between foreign direct investment, EU funding, and local innovation so encouraging.
“There are also many community groups in East Antrim working tirelessly to improve the lives of vulnerable sections of society both at home and abroad, and it was incredibly useful to gain an insight into just three of them during this visit. I would like to commend Monkstown Community Association and the Carrickfergus YMCA on the valuable work they carry out in providing both a voice and an outlet for elderly residents and local young people. This work is the bond in Northern Ireland’s social fabric.
“It was also refreshing personally to visit the African Child Ministries store in Carrickfergus to hear of the very worthwhile work that the staff there do to raise money to improve the lives of children suffering poverty and disadvantage across the continent.This capacity to look beyond our own problems, and beyond our own shores is so important,” she said.