Aid for Belfast plant opposed
Thursday 06 February 1997
The British Apparel and Textiles Confederation (BATC) said it had decided to appeal an earlier ruling in the European Court, which had argued that Commission officials had not broken any rules when they sanctioned the UK government's pounds 61m package of subsidies for the plant, to be built by the giant Hualon Corporation.
British manufacturers say the Hualon plant, which could create up to 1,800 jobs in a deprived area north of Belfast, would unfairly use the state aid to increase production capacity in an industry undergoing a dramatic process of downsizing. John Wilson, director general of the BATC, said: "The concerns we have about Hualon are as great as they ever were. The statistics confirm our main point that the industry is stagnating or declining and an investment of this size, which increases capacity in the industry by 20 per cent, is clearly ridiculous."
Mr Wilson declined to give details of the the appeal, which he said was largely on technical grounds. So far the European association which represents clothing companies such as Coats Viyella and Courtaulds Textiles is thought to have spent around pounds 60,000 fighting the investment.
Northern Ireland's Industrial Development Board (IDB), the government body responsible for inward investment, said it had "noted" the BATC's announcement but refused to comment further.
A spokeswoman also declined to elaborate on persistent rumours that the IDB is planning to scale down the project, which will be built in several phases. Bruce Robinson, the IDB's chief executive, is recently believed to have visited Hualon on a trip to the Far East. The whole of the pounds 61m aid will only be paid out if the entire project is completed.
However, the decision to appeal to the European Court is likely to further delay the start of construction work.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
$125 - $175 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Senior Wealth Manager In...
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...