Let’s make flu powder and ear drops at old Arntz site

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A Londonderry businessman and consultant scientist who wanted to bring a 100 year-old Royal Navy cruiser, which fought at the Battle of Jutland to Fort George, has now turned his attention to the old Arntz belting site at Pennyburn pass saying it should be zoned for high-end manufacturing.

Tom Bradley has written to the Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan saying the imminent reduction in corporation tax here should be used to lure ear drop, flu powder or ultrasound manufacturers to the old factory site.

He says such ‘Life Science’ jobs are usually high-end and well-paid.

“This site must be zoned for high-end manufacturing,” he writes. “A Life Science factory, for example.”

Mr Bradley continues: “The new cheaper corporation tax will mean a surge of United States of America (USA), Japanese and other advanced non-EC counties investing in Northern Ireland manufacturing.

“This near river front site would be perfect for inward investment manufacturing. This would be simply replacing the former inward manufacturing investor Arntz with a new high end manufacturing investor.

“Note, I’ve mentioned a Life Science factory - ear drops, flu powders, baby ultrasound scan machines being just three of hundreds of Life Science manufacturing examples.”

Mr Bradley suggested to the Minister that zoning the site for these uses would chime with the Executive’s investment policy.

“This is because Invest NI have identified Life Science manufacturing as a massive inward investment opportunity,” he writes.

“Indeed, Invest NI to date have helped generate over 7,000 Life Science jobs. An attractive feature of Life Science jobs is they are mostly high end. However, any high end factory on the Arntz site would be most welcome.”

Plans have already been submitted for four retail warehouses, a medical building, a superstore, an educational research and development building, a restaurant and a self service filling station, at the former Arntz site.

It’s not the first time Mr Bradley has lobbied the Executive on behalf of his home town.

Back in 2012, Mr Bradley wrote to the former Tourism Minister suggesting the HMS Caroline could be moored at either Fort George or the Peace Bridge. The ship served during both World Wars.

He said: “From Newbuildings to Culmore Point there is nothing we can put our boots on that marks our impressive maritime heritage. Compare this to the millions spent on Belfast’s maritime heritage, which is the proper way and rightly so.”