A joinery firm in Co Antrim has annoucned it has ceased trading “with immediate effect” due to “difficult trading conditions.”
Hayburn Wood Products, based in Ahoghill, announced the collapse of the business in a short statement posted on its website.
BBC News NI reports that the firm employed about 40 people, according to its last published accounts.
TUV MLA Jim Allister described it as “a significant blow to the area.”
Mr Allister said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the closure of Hayburn. After half a century of business this is a significant blow to the area. Of course my thoughts are first and foremost with the staff who have lost their jobs in the run up to Christmas. It is also important to recognise that this will have a significant knock-on impact on the local economy.”
He continued: “North Antrim has had a significant number of job blows in recent years. It is long past the time when the area should receive the attention it deserves from Invest NI which to date has neglected the constituency.”
Bannside alderman Stewart McDonald added: “Today’s news is deeply upsetting and a huge loss not just to the workers directly impacted but to the entire local economy. These were not minimum wage jobs but skilled positions which commanded a good salary. There is now a duty on all elected representatives in North Antrim to follow TUV’s lead and demand that we get the fair deal we deserve from Invest NI when it comes to attracting employment to the area”.
His council colleague, Timothy Gaston said: “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their jobs today. This would have been a devastating blow to people at any time but is especially sad so close to Christmas. When a big story like this breaks it is easy to forget the real lives behind the numbers. These are people with families to support, mortgages to pay and cars to service.”