Bannside Foods to build pork factory

A proposal of application notice has been submitted to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for planning to build a new pork-processing facility at the site of the old Lovell and Christmas factory at Agivey near Ballymoney in Co Antrim.

The Lovell and Christmas facility was destroyed by fire in 1998, and led to a major rationalisation in pig production in NI at that time.

The new facility will operate under the name Bannside Foods at the Agivey with the project understood to involve prominent Irish pig producers.

The proposed £75m investment is expected to create up to 400 jobs.

Minister wants to remain in DAERA post

Even if he is elected as DUP leader on Friday 14 May, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has signalled his intention to see out the current Assembly term at the DAERA helm.

It is understood that Minister Poots would instead nominate an MLA colleague to the position of First Minister.

His rival for the party leadership is Lagan Valley MP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. If he is successful and wants to become First Minister, he will have to resign his Westminster seat and be co-opted into the Stormont Assembly.

Ulster Wool scraps haulage charges

Ulster Wool has scrapped onward carriage fees which were previously charged for the haulage of wool from its approved collection sites to its depot in Muckamore.

Details on producer payments and the 2021 wool values booklet will be released by Ulster Wool in mid-May.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hogley has been appointed chief executive of both Ulster Wool and its parent company British Wool.

He took up the role on interim basis last November and took over from Joe Farren, who had been in the role since June 2016.