Dickson & Williams Saddened by the Fire Damage at Abbey Upholsterers
East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, and Alliance MEA Councillor Noel Williams were shocked and saddened at the awesome loss to premises, product and job opportunities caused by the fire at Abbey Upholsterers in the small hours of Saturday morning.
Mr Dickson said: “I am greatly saddened by the situation. We have spoken to people at the scene, those who work there and neighbouring residents in Brackenridge, it can only be described as a scene of great destruction. It is too early to determine the cause and there is little to be gained by speculation; I will leave that to the professionals”.
Alderman Noel Williams said: “I spoke to local residents who were woken early and witnessed the devastation. One resident said it was lucky that the wind was a northerly, otherwise the prevailing south-westerly could have engulfed their homes with burning material and might even have set homes alight.
“I encountered a gentleman in tears near the scene who had worked there for many years. At first I thought he was a resident but on talking to him his distress became apparent when he shared the fact that his livelihood depends on Abbey Upholsterers.
“A Fireman told me what I had already surmised, that it is much too early to know what caused the destruction, whilst another resident suggested that there was an order ready for despatch that very day worth hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
Stewart Dickson MLA went on to say: “Abbey Upholsterers is a huge local business employing many staff for many years. Its reputation is second to none for quality. I call on all possible agencies to do what is needed to support the company and its work force in the weeks and months ahead, and of course if anyone has any information how this fire started to contact the authorities as a matter of urgency”.
Mr Williams concluded: “I am delighted to say that MEA Council will be offering every support from Planning, Economic Development, Business Support Packages and assistance to identify suitable temporary accommodation, to ensure minimal disruption is caused to business operations.