To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what efforts he is making to secure a new tenant for the factory at Shrigley, county Down, owned by Pettard Garnor plc; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will list the dates and amounts of Government grants made by the Industrial Development Board, Northern Ireland, to Garnar Booth plc in the fiscal year 1986–87, and in the period from 1 April 1987 to 28 February 1988;(3) what discussions he has had or proposes to have with Pittard Garnar about the proposed closure of its factory at Shrigley. Killyleagh; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 8 March 1988J: No grants have been made by the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland to either Garnar Booth plc or Pittard Garnar plc in relation to the wholly owned subsidiary Atlantic Tanning Company Ltd., Killyleagh. However, in the period mentioned a total sum of £225,803·11 was made direct by the Industrial Development Board to the Atlantic Tanning Company Ltd. under two separate offers of financial assistance agreed in 1986.Pittard Garnar plc and the Industrial Development Board are co-operating in the search for alternative uses for the site at Shrigley, Killyleagh. A number of discussions have already taken place with interested parties and more are scheduled. It is too early yet to say if any of these discussions will prove fruitful. All avenues will be explored.I have not had any discussions with Pittard Garnar plc. I was fully aware of the negotiations which the Industrial Development Board was conducting with Pittard Garnar plc and of its offer to support any viable recovery plan for the Atlantic Tanning Company Ltd. In the event Pittard Garnar plc has made it clear that the decision to cease production at its operation in Killyleagh was taken for wholly commercial reasons.