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North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has welcomed plans to develop the old Agivey plant on the Bann Road in Ballymoney.

Commenting, Mr Storey said:

‘‘This is fantastic news for the local area. The £75m investment in new processing facilities will create in the region of 350-400 jobs and support thousands more throughout the supply chain.

These plans represent the largest investment in the area since the Agivey plant was destroyed in the fire of 1999. As a former employee at that site, it has always been my hope that the plant would be revived to the benefit of the wider community.

It is my understanding that the factory, when developed, would provide dedicated facilities to process cull sows, something that is not currently available in Northern Ireland. Having a local processor would benefit the pork and bacon industry in particular as well as our billion-pound agri-food sector as a whole.

I recently met with the developer and his agent. As the public consultation continues, I look forward to working with them as they progress this exciting development for the area.”