29 June 2009


Mr. S Neeson MLA
Ms. Dawn Purvis MLA
Mr. Robin Newton MLA
Mr. Leslie Cree MLA
Mr. Declan O’Loan MLA
Mr. Barry Turley (proxy for Lord Ballyedmond)
Mr. Alec McRitchie – Bombardier Aerospace
Mr. William Wright – Wrightbus Ltd
Mr. James Devlin – BT NI
Mr. Glyn Roberts – NIIRTA
Mr. John Rooney – Rooney Fish
Dr. Gareth McGrath – Director of Engagement.

Ms. Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr. John O’Farrell – NI-ICTU
Ms. Katherine McDonald – Stratagem

In Attendance:
Sheila McClelland – Company Secretary
Mr. Ivor Gibson – NIA Secretariat
Mr. Stephen Todd – NIA Secretariat.

1. Apologies

Apologies were recorded and noted above.

2. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 29 th March 2009 were approved.

3. Matters arising

Most matters arising formed substantive agenda items, but the Board wished to congratulate Mr. William Wright who is to be presented with an Honorary Degree on 2 nd July 2009

4. Education Visit to Brussels

A delegation of the Board of Trustees recently visited the Irish Institute of Leuven to participate in a fact-finding education programme on the key aspects of the relationship between the EU Institutions, the Westminster Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. A report on the visit was presented and discussed.

Trustees were broadly content with the programme but felt that there should be increased emphasis on the SME / business relationship and representation at European level in any future programme.

Trustees agreed that the Leuven Institute provided very acceptable accommodation and facilitated the programme delivery very well. They believed that the educational aspect to the trip provided by the Leuven Institute was beneficial and at a high standard.

The Board of Trustees considered the evaluation report provided and accepted all the recommendations.

Recommendations: To run similar programmes in the 2009/2010 session. The Trust will invite the business members of the Trust and political parties to nominate one representative to attend annually. Any additional attendees could attend, capacity permitting, but would be expected to meet the full costs.

5. NIABT Membership

The Board of Trustees considered applications made to join the NIABT and agreed to accept nine new members:

  • Anglo North Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation;
  • Deloitte Consulting;
  • Firmus Energy;
  • Lagan Holdings Ltd.;
  • Law Society of Northern Ireland;
  • Next Level Impact;
  • Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce;
  • O’Kane Poultry;
  • Paul McAlister Architects.
6. Programmes

A draft timetable for an Educational Programme to run from September 2009 to June 2010 was discussed. Several suggestions were made for themes to be addressed within the programme

Additional proposals for events to be developed included:

  • A seminar about the “digital age” to be provided by BT, which could cover flexibility to work options that may be pertinent n relation to contingency planning for business with pandemic concerns;
  • Meetings and seminars to be attended by Ministers from the NI Executive to discuss issues concerning the business sector;
  • Opportunities to receive briefing from Assembly Committee chairpersons on areas of interest to the business community

Actions: Ms. McClelland to adapt Programme to reflect the Board Members’ views

7. Fellowships

The Board of Trustees asked that a new campaign to promote fellowships for MLAs to attend educational opportunities within the business members’ organisations should be undertaken. They considered that the fellowships were very worthwhile and beneficial in providing insight in a two-way process.

8. Business Plan 2008 – 2010

The Business Plan was noted. Some changes will be made to the business plan to reflect Trust changes.

9. Draft Newsletter

Copies of a draft Newsletter (Summer 2009) were included in the pack and were considered.

10. Annual Accounts

Ms. McClelland stated that the accountants would attend the next meeting of the Board of Trustees to provide advice and information on the annual accounts for the Trust in relation to financial year 2008/09.

11. AOB

There was no further business to be discussed.