East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said he is devastated for the Larne area after the announcement that US firm Caterpillar is to cut 700 jobs.
In a statement earlier today the manufacturing firm confirmed the majority of the losses would affect workers at its plant in Larne.
Stewart said: “This is an absolutely devastating blow for the local area and one which has come completely out of the blue this morning. 2020 has already brought enough worry and concern for local families, without the news of job loses this close to Christmas.
“I am seeking an urgent meeting with the management of Caterpillar today to try and assess why this decision has been so suddenly announced and if anything further can be done.
“I will also be meeting the Economy Minister as soon as possible to ensure adequate support and aid in seeking other employment is in place for those who are today struggling to come to terms with this news.
“However this isn’t just a blow for those immediately affected, but for all those with links to the site in Larne and the wider local economy. There are certainly challenging times ahead.”