BALLYMONEY has lost its only car dealership, it has emerged.

Over the last five years the business has attracted much business into the town but the relocation is another blow to the economy of the area which in recent years has seen several large businesses close down and a number of jobs lost in the town.

Philip Petersen Suzuki based at Maurice Scott's site at the corner of Model School Road and Townhead Street officially closed last Thursday.

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That area of the town has been synonymous with the motoring trade for years but it remains to be seen what will happen with the site.

Now however, the Ballymoney dealership has been bought over and is being relocated to a purpose-built site in Moneymore near Cookstown.

Simon Johnston, Dealer Principal of Philip Petersen Suzuki in Ballymoney, told the Times that the Ballymoney dealership was to close.

It was understood that the premises would cease trading at the end of June, but remained active until almost the end of July.

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He said: "I would like to thank all our customers for their support over the years and I also want to pay tribute to the six members of staff here who have been offered to relocate to the new site."

34-year-old Mr Johnston, who lives at The Loughan near Coleraine, has now embarked on an epic motorbike journey literally half way round the world and back.

He set off last month and is heading through Europe taking in the barren wastes of Mongolia and Siberia and will even bravely tackle the infamous 'Road of Bones' highway through north Russia.

He has previously ridden his machine across the US and this time round aims to do 25,000 miles and take in some roads in Siberia that have never been driven on by a motorbike.

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