Motor magnate Salt is the driving force behind Carn development

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Hundreds of jobs are in prospect with a new 10-acre industrial-retail site at Portadown’s Charlestown Road.

The man behind the project is Neil Salt, proprietor of Saltmarine Motors. Site works are well advanced, with plans to provide five large retail warehouses or industrial units, or a mix of both.

The size of the units will vary from 1.5 acres to 2.5 acres, and services like roads, electricity and sewers are being installed. The site is beside the massive NACCO (Hyster) fork lift truck factory at Carn and it is bounded by the M12.

Said Mr Salt, “We have just started marketing the site and already there is keen interest. It is, of course, subject to planning approval. But I have spoken to the new ABC Council and to government agencies and they are keen for the plan to go ahead.

“Both industry and the retail sector have shown an interest. They can either develop the individual units themselves to their own specification or we will build the units for them and rent them out. The fact that they are close to the motorway system is a major plus – just as Seagoe and Carn Industrial estates are so successful and have provided so many jobs in the area.”

Contractor for the site works is Tommy Trouton of Cloncore, and 800 tonnes of timber were cleared from the site prior to the bird breeding season, in line with European Union laws.

The site is being marketed with the help of Dungannon photographic and video firm Skytask Aerial Imaging. Jim Kerr, the Skytask proprietor, used a drone to photograph the site from the air, showing its position at Charlestown Road with the busy M12 sweeping past, both in picture and video form.

Mr Kerr said, “It looks really impressive from the air. More and more businesses are using this technique to market their projects and it shows how well positioned the Portadown area is for road communications.”

It’s a rare sortie into development for Mr Salt, who is well-known in the car trade through Saltmarine which has agencies for Ford, Mazda and Hyundai. “I’m enjoying this project,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest being shown from retail and industry.”