Northern Ireland

Cullybackey: HK Dickey makes 48 staff redundant

Chicken processing Image copyright Getty Images

A chicken processing company in County Antrim has made 48 staff redundant following its closure.

HK Dickey, a family business on the Granagh Road, Cullybackey, closed its doors after over 60 years of trading.

The company has called in insolvency practitioners to advise the directors on their options.

Wesley Dickey, managing director, said the firm fell under the pressure of tight margins and tough trading conditions.

'No longer viable'

"The company has been under continuous pressure for some time to keep competitive, to reduce prices; whilst all the time facing rising wage costs, employee pension costs and the ever-increasing cost of produce and ingredients as well as compliance with regulation," said Mr Dickey.

"My parents Hugh and Sally Dickey, who established the business back in the 1950s, have worked hard alongside me to expand and develop the business with a very loyal customer base supporting us over the years.

"Regrettably, however, the business is no longer viable, and we have had to take the very difficult decision to close our doors."

Mr Dickey added that the company's employees have been its "greatest asset".

"I wish to formally record our family's appreciation to them. Their contribution to the business has been immense and it is with the deepest regret that we find ourselves in this situation where we cannot keep trading," he said.

DUP councillor Tommy Nicholl, who lives in Cullybackey, told BBC Radio Ulster the loss of the firm will have a "tremendous impact" on the area.

"I'm very saddened to hear the news this afternoon that it's going into administration," he said.

"My sympathies are obviously with the workers."

History

Gildernew & Co, the firm of Insolvency Practitioners appointed to the company, are in contact with the company's suppliers.

Husband and wife Hugh and Sally Dickey established their poultry business in rural Cullybackey, close to Ballymena, in 1957.

Throughout the last six decades it supplied to leading restaurants and retail outlets across Northern Ireland.

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