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Local producer lands £1m supermarket deal

Credit: Mash Direct

Comber-based company Mash Direct have secured a contract with supermarket chain Morrisons worth a million pounds a year, over three years.

The farm business, run by the Hamilton family, specialises in vegetable and potato-based convenience foods.

This contract will see five of its products go into the 'free from' aisle in over 380 stores nationwide.

Director Lance Hamilton said, “We are delighted with the new contract with Morrisons.

"This deal can equate to over £3million of revenue for our company over the next three years.

"Innovation has always been at the heart of what we do here at Mash Direct and we will ensure that we use this money to put back into the company and make sure that we continue to deliver the high standards and quality that our customers know and trust," he added.

Two Belfast roads among UK's most congested

Credit: Google Maps

Two of Belfast's roads have been named among the ten most congested in the UK in 2016.

The report, by traffic and transport data experts Inrix, showed the southbound Lisburn Road from College Gardens to Wallace Park was the most congested road outside of London.

The study said that on average drivers spent just over two days (49 hours) stuck in traffic on the this stretch of road.

The A24 between the Ormeau Road and Ann Street in the city centre was also in the top ten for congestion.

The Inrix study examined 87 cities and large urban areas across the UK and estimated the cost, both direct and indirect, to drivers totalled £30.8bn, which works out at around £968 per driver.

This factored in variables such as wasted time and fuel as well as increased costs to businesses which are passed on to households by way of higher prices.

Despite the heavy traffic on a number of roads, Belfast was not among the ten UK cities worst afflicted by traffic jams.


Delivery driver robbed at gunpoint

Credit: Presseye

A delivery driver has been held up by two men in Carrickfergus, with one man believed to have been carrying a gun, while the other was holding a long blade.

The incident happened on Sunday night, shortly before 9.40pm.

The driver was approached by two men in the Fergus Court area. One was believed to have pointed a gun at the van driver and demanded money.

He is described as being just under 6 ft tall and wearing black gloves, a black jacket and a balaclava.

The second man was wearing a grey hooded top.

The man with the gun smashed a back window of the van taking a box with a sum of money in it. Both men then fled in the direction of the Sunnylands area.

The delivery driver was not physically hurt but has been left badly shaken.

Inspector Martin Ruddy said: “This was a very frightening incident for the delivery driver who was providing a service to the local community and I would appeal to anyone with information to make that available.”

Police are appealing for witnesses about the incident to contact them at Carrickfergus PSNI Station on the non-emergency number 101 quoting 1181 of the 19/02/2017. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Man carjacked in south Belfast

A man was forced from his car in south Belfast on Sunday afternoon, with two thieves making off in the vehicle.

The carjacking occurred on Adelaide Park in south Belfast at around 5.30pm, with the offenders driving off in the direction of the Lisburn Road.

Police later recovered the vehicle at Pembroke Loop Road, near Dunmurry, in the west of the city.

Officers are appealing for witnesses who may have noticed any activity in either area or who have information, to contact Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 914 of 19/2/2017.

Or, if someone would prefer to provide information anonymously, they can do so by contacting independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Gang armed with sledgehammers target home in Larne

A man in his 30s has been hurt after a masked gang armed with sledgehammers broke into a house in Larne, Co Antrim.

The men forced their way into the home in the Garron Walk area at around 2am on Sunday and caused substantial damage to the property.

The male occupant inside suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Police are appealing for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact them on 101.

Man charged over arson attack at Coleraine flat

A man has been charged in connection with an arson attack at a flat in Coleraine, Co Londonderry.

The 22-year-old has been charged with arson endangering life.

He due to appear at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on Monday accused of involvement in a fire started at an apartment at Weaver’s Court on Saturday shortly after 6am.

A neighbour discovered the blaze at the door and was able to put it out. No one was injured.

Two other men also arrested in connection with the incident have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

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