Bombardier rules out Ballykelly site

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Bombardier Aerospace has ruled out plans to expand in the North West following a visit to Ballykelly, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The Canadian company confirmed company representatives had visited the area in the past when it was looking for sites for potential relocation or expansion opportunities. The company did not disclose which site in Ballykelly it had explored, but the ‘Journal’ understands it was at the more than 600-acre ex-army site in the village.

A spokesperson for Bombardier said: “As part of our industrial strategy, we are always considering ways of optimising our operations to increase our competitiveness and profitability. This includes looking at sites for potential relocation or expansion opportunities. In the past, we did explore a site at Ballykelly but decided it was not suitable for our requirements, which can be complex given the nature of our activities. We are currently looking at consolidating our business and have no plans to expand in the North West.”

SDLP MLA John Dallat is disappointed Bombardier has ruled out Ballykelly.

“I had been aware Bombardier had made a visit to Ballykelly, and I’m disappointed they’ve ruled out coming here because I had high hopes. I thought the hangar would have been ideal. I understand they were looking for space to service aircraft. I remain hopeful that option may come back because the hangar at Ballykelly is unique in its size and I hope it will be attractive to someone, or a firm in the manufacturing business.”

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster recently revealed during the current financial year Invest NI facilitated an inward investment visit by a major, US-owned company that included visits to the former Seagate premises at Dowland Road, Limavady, and the former Shackleton Barracks site in Ballykelly.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment was unable to reveal who that investor was, stating: “Specific details about any potential investor are commercially sensitive.”