26 April 2010


Mr Sean Neeson MLA
Mr Leslie Cree MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA
Mr James Devlin BT NI
Ms Helen Gregory Bombardier
Mr Edward Haughey Norbrook Laboratories
Mr Glyn Roberts NIIRTA
Mr. William Wright Wrightbus Ltd

Ms Katherine McDonald Stratagem
Mr John O’Farrell NI-ICTU
Mr John Rooney Rooney Fish
Mr Paul Butler MLA
Mr Robin Newton MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Dr Gareth McGrath

1. Apologies

Apologies were recorded and noted above.

2. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 11 January 2010 were agreed and adopted. The proposer was Leslie Cree MLA and this was seconded by William Wright.

3. Matters arising

Most matters arising formed substantive agenda items.

4. President’s Dinner Wash Up

A discussion took place on the President’s Dinner which took place on Friday 12 March. The guest speakers on the evening were Declan Kelly, US Economic Envoy and Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment and Learning. As a result of selected businesses being invited to this event from outside the Business Trust, 12 further applications were received to join the Trust.

5. Correspondence

Next Level Impact had written to the NIABT requesting that we co-host a presentation in Parliament Buildings for “Celebrating success – effective manager programme”. At the Board meeting of 15 February, it was decided to take advice on this matter before responding to Next level Impact. Subsequently, the Chair reported that he was supporting Next Level Impact at this event in his role as an MLA and Next Level Impact were satisfied with this arrangement.

Edward Haughey had written to the Trust on 16 February regarding considering an approach of posting a student in Brussels to act as an information conduit and also to consider inviting MEPs to host seminars in Northern Ireland. These two points were discussed; the Chair noted that Commission may appoint a full time post from the NI Assembly is to be a designated European Liaison Officer from June 2010 as a result of the OFMDFM Report into Consideration of European Issues. In addition, there will be a further MEP Engagement event in Parliament Buildings on 27 September 2010 on the Lisbon Treaty and what it means for Northern Ireland.

6. European Programme Report

There was a discussion around the European Programme and how the NIABT should be more effective or focused in relation to European matters. Matters such as employment law, agricultural policy and health and safety were discussed and it was agreed by the Chair to keep this item on the agenda for the next meeting

Action: . Edward Haughey volunteered to follow up on any way he could if he was given a specific area to investigate on behalf of the NIABT.

7. Membership

The Board of Trustees approved 12 applications to join the NIABT. Namely Chambre Public Affairs, Core Systems NI LTD, George Dorrian freelance researcher, Global Financial Services, H & J Martin, La Mon Hotel, LGC, Musgrave Retail Park, Raymond Cullen Demolition, Stellar Leadership Ltd, Tyrone Timber Frames, Weber Shandwick, and WJ Law and Co.

Discussions took place around consideration of a capping for business sector membership and the need for a type of “Register of Interests” register for business members. These matters will be covered in the NIABT Review.

8. Articles of Association

The Trust has received legal advice on the current Articles of Association to ascertain if they reflect companies’ legislation and the Charities Bill. The NIABT Articles will be amended in line with this advice.

9. Programmes

The Chair briefed the Board on recent and planned NIABT Programmes. These are listed below.


26 February: Alastair Ross Fellowship with Belfast International Airport.

12 March: Speaker’s Dinner.

19 March Visit to Diane Dodds MEP


12 May ETI/NIABT Breakfast at Balmoral Show

14 May SME Engagement with Europe at Balmoral Show

26 Aug: Simon Hamilton Fellowship with Firmus Energy.

10. Newsletter

Draft copies of the latest edition of the NIABT newsletter were distributed to Board members. Further copies will be distributed to business members and MLAs later on this week.

11. A.O.B.

The date for the next Board meeting will be on Monday 14 June.