'800 jobs' for Londonderry car parts factory site

Image caption,
The car parts firm, Arntz Belting, proposes to develop its site in Derry

A German car parts firm, Arntz Belting, has said it hopes to create more than 800 jobs in a multi-million pound development in Londonderry.

A spokesperson described the move as part of its "legacy to the people of Derry".

The firm plans to redevelop its factory site at Pennyburn which is closing with the loss of more than a hundred jobs.

The proposals include a major retail food outlet, hotel, and research and development facilities.

There has been a cautious reception for the move from local political representatives.

The SDLP MP, Mark Durkan, welcomed the commitment to keep the 12 acre site in economic use.

"Let's not judge these things on the kind of figures that are bandied about by a firm at the moment," he said.

"We know planning takes time and we know that the market will decide whether some of these plans stand or run or not."

The Sinn Fein MLA, Martina Anderson, pointed out that a previous application for commercial and residential use had been refused by planners.

"It must be viewed as a strategic site," she said, "and it should be zoned for employment regenerating status."

The Managing Director of Arntz Belting, Robert Moore, said the company was displaying its social responsibility towards the city after many years of co-operation with its people.

Details of the plan will be outlined to Derry City Council's Development Committee in December.

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