SDLP Economy spokesperson and chairman of the Assembly Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee has expressed his deep concern at news that Ballymena construction firm Patton has gone into administration.
Mr. McGlone told Irish Building Magazine was informed that: “Patton construction had a reputation for excellence and was a respected family-run business. It is deeply unfortunate that it was unable to sustain itself during the current economic climate.
“This must be an extremely difficult time for the workforce, their families and the community itself. At a time when people are suffering financial stress particularly in the run up to Christmas my thoughts go out to workers who will be concerned at the news that Patton has gone into administration.
“Yesterday I contacted both the DETI and DEL Private Offices, Minister Farry spoke with me immediately and I have yet to hear from Minister Foster. To Minister Stephen Farry I conveyed my deep concerns for Patton and highlight the potential for a ripple effect on associated firms and sub-contractors. Ministers must do everything with urgency in their power to alleviate the financial pressures of firms like Patton and work hard to keep people in employment.
“More specifically what is required is major public investment in construction so that a talented workforce within the industry can thrive despite the pressures of a recession. I will continue to consult with Ministers, Invest Northern Ireland and colleagues in the DETI committee, which I chair, to find the best path forward for construction firms.
“Construction output has dropped by £1bn in Northern Ireland over the past five years with job losses accompanying this. That is not acceptable and we must work collectively to ensure that construction firms are given financial support and their workforce are protected.”