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Job losses after closure of Xtra-vision and pharmaceutical plant in Sligo

Several hundred jobs have been lost with the closure of Xtra-vision and a pharmaceutical plant in Sligo.

Some 83 movie rental stores on both sides of the border pulled the shutters down for the last time with about 580 full and part-time staff losing their jobs.

Two-and-a-half years after UK investors Hilco Capital tried to secure a new future for the chain, the High Court agreed to appoint Grant Thornton to oversee liquidation of the business.

“Our first priority is to meet and brief employees at all 83 locations and process their entitlements for redundancy,” the accountancy firm said in a statement.

“Over the coming days we will be in contact with all creditors of the company. However, it is important to note that any Xtra-vision gift vouchers will be honoured by HMV which is not affected by this liquidation.”

Eleven of the Xtra-vision stories are in Northern Ireland, where 60 staff were employed in Limavady, Larne, Magherafelt, Omagh, Cookstown, Dungannon, Lurgan, Armagh, Banbridge, Newcastle and Warrenpoint.

The remaining 500-plus employees worked in 72 stores around the Republic, where sales and rentals on both sides of the border have been shattered in recent years with the availability of online and on-demand services.

Up until it went into receivership, Xtra-vision had 152 stores, a database of more than 400,000 customers and 1,023 staff.

Meanwhile, Elanco, a subsidiary of the Eli Lilly which focuses on animal health and food products, is shutting down its plant in Sligo with the loss of 100 jobs.

Alongside the closure of a facility in Dundee, Scotland, the management said there had been an in-depth evaluation of global manufacturing and cost-reduction initiatives at Sligo, including a restructuring last year, but they were not sufficient to make it competitive.

Most staff will be made redundant before the middle of the year and a small number will be retained during the wind-down into next year.

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“The decision to close the Sligo facility is difficult, and we are very aware of the impact this has on our employees, their families, and the local region,” said site manager Grace McArdle.

“Over the next few weeks, our priority will be communicating with our employees and providing support at this difficult time.”

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