Nobody likes to see people losing jobs but are you really surprised Michelin prefer Dundee to Ballymena?
Michelin is to invest more than £50m at its factory in Dundee.
The investment comes as a result of a closure in its Northern Irish operations. Around 860 employees at a Michelin factory in Ballymena, County Antrim, are set to lose their jobs. A further 500 contractors are said to be affected.
Alex Salmond MP announced that Scottish Enterprise support has brought a share of a UK wide investment package worth up to £50 million from Michelin into its Dundee operation to convert it into a ‘factory of the future’ that will make the next generation of fuel efficient tyre.
Why Dundee and not Ballymena?
Scotland’s 4th largest city with a population of 148,260 and an SNP majority on the council
It has a history of scientific activities. Biomedical and technological industries have arrived since the 1980s, and the city now accounts for 10% of the United Kingdom’s digital-entertainment industry.
Dundee has two universities—the University of Dundee and the Abertay University.
2014: Dundee was recognised by the United Nations as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games
Ballymena (population 30,000) in County Antrim is the the 8th largest town in Northern Ireland. It has a 72.2% Protestant majority.
Ballymena is said to be the heart of Northern Ireland’s Bible Belt. The Democratic Unionist Party(DUP)-dominated town council has banned:
*a performance by the Electric Light Orchestra in the township, saying they would attract “the four Ds Drink, Drugs, Devil and Debauchery”.
*the screening of Brokeback Mountain (2005), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, as it featured a homosexual relationship.
* An impersonator of comic Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown.
Sectarian tension has arisen in the Dunclug area of the town which now has a Catholic majority.
Ballymena is known as “the drugs capital of the North“.
In 2011 Ballymena had the 3rd-highest level of legal gun ownership in Northern Ireland
Job Losses in Ballymena
Ballymena – a town on the skids!!
November 2012: the Patton Group – a major builder in the borough – entered administration with the loss of 320 jobs.
October 2014: JTI Gallagher’s closing with a loss of 877 jobs
Wrightbus, however, have been a source of better news locally. They have been awarded contracts to build the new Routemaster buses for Transport for London, and sees continuing growth.
Meanwhile Michelin has said Ballymena people can re-locate if they want to keep their jobs.
Query: To Dundee?
Wonder how happy Dundee will be with that?
Wonder how happy the
are going to be?