asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement on the circumstances which led to the closure of Ballantyne knitwear factory in Coleraine; and what was the number and the total value of grants made to the Ballantyne Knitwear Company from public funds during its operation.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 14th November 1978; Vol. 958, c. 165], gave the following information:The closure of the Ballantyne factory followed 11 weeks of industrial action resulting from a trade dispute. I deplore this development, which was quite uncharacteristic of the good industrial relations which I understand the company enjoyed in Northern Ireland during the past 20 years.The factory was established in 1958 in premises rented from the Government. It received the following grants: