HC Deb 11 May 1978 vol 949 cc1393-4
11. Mr. Dunlop

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to persuade Procat Engineering to remain in Castledawson, County Londonderry, rather than to transfer its activities to the Irish Republic.

Mr. Concannon

I understand that when the company's premises were sold the local enterprise development unit, which has in the past given considerable financial assistance to the company, offered to help it to find alternative accommodation. However, this offer was not taken up by the promoter. I have no information that would confirm that the company has been offered a factory in the Irish Republic.

Mr. Dunlop

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his reply and explanation. Has he any contingency plans for filling the vacuum caused by the withdrawal of this factory and the consequent loss of jobs in south Londonderry?

Mr. Concannon

No matter how hard the Department or I try, we cannot stop factories changing their location. This company's problems over the factory arise from the promoter's decision to dispose of the factory that the company occupies. I found that hard to take, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will feel the same way.