Granville Industrial Estate an 'embarassment' to major businesses

DAY to day business is being disrupted and meetings with potential investors and customers have become almost embarassing because of problems with the appearance of Granville Industrial Estate, according to one of the main business leaders there.

Traffic gridlock, parking problems and poor maintenance of roads and verges, have also contributed to a lack of satisfaction among many of the firms which operate from Granville, one of the busiest and economically successful of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Major employers at the location include Linden Foods - which has 430 staff at its Granville site and supplies produce to such established names as Marks and Spencer - Westland Horticulture (with an estimated 600 plus staff), and Dunbia.

Representatives from Linden Foods and Westland Horticulture recently travelled to Stormont as part of a cross-party delegation from Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council to meet Nigel Dodds MP, Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, to air their concerns.

Specific concerns regarding Granville were to the fore during the meeting with Mr Dodds, who has, as a result, agreed to arrange a visit to Dungannon to further investigate the matter.

Richard Moore of Linden Foods spoke to the Tyrone Times about the meeting and said he was pleased to see the council taking the lead in dealing with the issues affecting business in Granville.

"Our big concern is the appearance and condition of the industrial estate", said Mr Moore.

"Traffic congestion is so bad at times that our business is often disrupted. To bring customers on to the estate for meetings, for instance, is an embarassment. These problems have been ongoing and our frustration as business people is growing all the time.

"The relevant agencies appear to be passing the parcel, but I am glad to see the council taking the initiative and leading the delegation."

Mr Moore heralded the "success story" that is Granville Industrial Estate and pointed to expansion by his company within the waste to energy sector. It is anticipated that around 12 new jobs could be created to facilitate the new business, Linergy, which, says Richard, will be mainly machine based.

Mr Moore called for extra car parking spaces and urged the relevant government agencies to take leadership on improving the appearance of the industrial estate.

"There are people here from 6am each day, and many of them work overtime", he continued.

"This is a busy industrial estate and any slow down in traffic, for a lorry to turn, for example, creates an immediate bottleneck and it could be gridlocked for an hour."

Mr Moore suggested a one-way traffic system as a solution to the problems in Granville, and added: "It is dangerous driving around here and the junctions are too tight. Most people have been having near misses. We are talking about people's futures."