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Huge jobs boost for city centre

A major new development at Greenbank Industrial Estate sets to bring over 1,000 jobs to the city following the announcement that a planning application by beef baron Larry Goodman has been approved. Following the demolition of buildings on the Warrenpoint Road site it will be transformed into an economic hub with cafes restaurant, an enterprise and innovation centre, 50n social housing apartments, a food superstore, retail units, a covered mall, and a new riverside walkway and cycleway. Mr Goodman owner of Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) at Greenbank submitted the application in 2009 under the company name Parma Investments. Granting approval on Wednesday Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “This will be a tremendous boost for the city of Newry. It will bring significant economic and social benefits including up to 1,130 new jobs, much needed social housing and a new walkway and cycleway. This is especially welcome given the economic downturn. I am conscious of the fact that there are jobs associated with the existing business on site and I recognise the ongoing efforts too acquire an alternative site in Newry to which the existing business can be relocated. There is no doubt that the proposed redevelopment of the site will help create a better place to live work and invest in the Newry area.” The proposal will help deliver a number of the objectives in the Programme for Government including increasing visitor numbers, supporting the promotion of new jobs and delivering social housing. Welcoming the announcement Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley said: “This development is great for Newry and the wider area. It will provide much needed social housing, it will add to the retail attractiveness of Newry and add impetus to the entrepreneurial and innovation community locally. Obviously there is the added benefit of the development to the construction industry in the area which has been struggling in recent years.” Mr Bradley said ABP which is Europe’s largest privately owned beef processor is set to relocate its Newry abattoir and is committed to remaining in the city. ” Progressing on from this development is the opportunity for the meat processing operation at Greenbank by ABP to relocate to another site with in the Newry area with the possibility of doubling their current workforce. Abp has given a commitment to maintain their operations in the Newry area and I look forward to the company living up to that commitment and its commitment to the local farming community who have served the company well over the years. All in all this development is a win win for Newry for the construction industry, for the retail sector, for social housing, for local farmers and the company itself. I very much look forward to further progress being made on this proposal over the coming weeks and month.” Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy says he welcomes the development: “I have been involved with this development or many years and have worked closely with Parma Developments to help ensure that they retain their operations in the Newry area if at all possible. I particularly welcome the boost to the local construction sector which this development will bring. I hope that social clauses will be included in the tender process to bring more people back into employment. People currently living in the vicinity of the area must be consulted and kept informed of progress and I look forward to seeing the work start and it progression and conclusion in the not too distant future.” MLA Mickey Brady added: “There are also plans for a riverside walk contained with in this development proposal. I look forward to the culmination of this work and having spoken to Newry people I know everyone is behind this local good news story.”


A spokesperson from Newry Chamber stated, ‘Newry Chamber of Commerce is broadly supportive of any development within the city centre limits. The Chamber supported this application and welcomes any proposals for the creation of jobs in the city. This decision gives only outline planning consent therefore the proposed jobs are a number of years away. However the key to progressing this development is the fulfilment of the commitment by the ABP that the current jobs in the Newry plant will be retained within the Newry area- if not there could be a serious threat to existing jobs. Therefore the Chamber would welcome a statement from ABP re-affirming their commitment to keep the existing job in the Newry area.

There are also issues around access to the site which we are sure Road Service and DOE will work to resolve in the coming years’.


Newry Democrat

29th May 2012