Business on the agenda as Mayor meets US Consul General

Mayor Billy Ashe with US Consul General, Daniel Lawton, and MEA Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Linda Williams.  INCT 16-726-CON

Mayor Billy Ashe with US Consul General, Daniel Lawton, and MEA Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Linda Williams. INCT 16-726-CON

Ongoing work to attract inward investment to Mid and East Antrim has continued as Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe met with the US Consul General.

The Mayor’s Parlour in Larne was the venue for the meeting with Daniel Lawton.

Mr Lawton has been the Consul General in Belfast since July 2015, when he took over from predecessor Gregory Burton.

His long career has seen him serve across the globe with appointments in Athens, Caracas, Copenhagen, Lima, and Mexico City.

The meeting was arranged after the Mayor joining the First Minister and Deputy First Minister at a business breakfast in Washington.

Mr Lawton – who also visited the Caterpillar Plant in Larne on Monday – initially met the Mayor at the White House St Patrick’s Day celebrations last month, when business was very much on the agenda.

“With the proposed reduction of Corporation Tax set to be a potential game-changer for our local economy, I believe Mid and East Antrim Borough needs to work internationally and show ourselves as ready and open for business,” said Councillor Ashe after the meeting.

“This latest meeting, on foot of last month’s work in Washington is also a means of keeping our newly-established Manufacturing Sector Task Force up to date on developments.”

The task force, which had its first meeting in February, was established to develop an action plan aimed at tackling manufacturing job losses and growing the local economy.

It followed the announcements that both the Michelin and JTI plants in the borough were to close.