NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Proceedings Monday 10th March 2014

The meeting opened in public session at 5:08pm.


Phil Flanagan MLA Chair
Judith Cochrane MLA
Leslie Cree MBE MLA
Michael Bell NI Food and Drink Association
Alan Dickson PricewaterhouseCoopers
Glyn Roberts NIIRTA
John Rooney Rooney Fish
John Stewart Director of Information and Outreach
Richard Stewart Treasurer/ Director of Corporate Service

In Attendance:

Susie Brown Secretary
Louise Close Deputy Secretary
Andrienne Magee Administrator


Alban Maginness MLA
David McClarty MLA
Robin Newton MLA
Lord Ballyedmond Norbrook Laboratories
John O’Farrell ICTU
Dr Joanne Stuart Attrus Ltd
Tara Whaley British Telecom

1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

2. Declaration of Interests:


3. Minutes of the meetings held on 27th January 2014:

Agreed: The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 27th January were agreed by the Board.      

4. Matters arising:

The Chair advised the Board that:

  • The majority of matters arising from the agenda at the meeting of 27th January had formed the basis for the agenda items for this meeting.
  • The Secretariat has arranged a marketing briefing on 11th November, featuring a panel including an Invest NI representative, the Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry MLA and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster MLA.

5. Financial Update: 

The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the latest figures in relation to 2013/2014 NIABT Income/ Expenditure.

Agreed: The Board agreed the content of the financial update.

6. Past and Upcoming Events 

The Chair referred the Board to a list of past and future Business Trust events.

5:09pm Glyn Roberts joins the meeting.

7. Fellowship Visits:

The Chair encouraged members to complete and return the fellowship visit proformas where applicable.

5:10pm Alan Dickson joins the meeting.

8. Review of Public Administration (RPA):

The Chair pointed out that at the last Board meeting, the Vice Chair had agreed to provide the Board with an update of RPA. The Board was then to decide whether it wished to host an event on this topic.

As the Vice Chair had sent her apologies for the evening, this item can be carried forward to the next Board meeting.

AgreedAgenda item to be included at next meeting.

9. Briefing Topics Sub Group:

The Chair advised the Board that the Briefing Topic Sub Group had met on 27th January and that staff were progressing with arrangements to deliver the briefings.

10. Scottish Education Programme

The Chair directed the Board to a copy attendance list and a draft programme for the Scottish educational programme on 28th/ 29th May 2014. He noted that, following feedback from the Board’s last meeting, the Secretariat had been working on the format and content of the programme.

He further noted that the Board was still waiting for confirmation from the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism and the Minister for Local Government and Planning, who would be discussing elements of best practice within their remit with the Scottish Government.

In addition he pointed out that the Secretariat would also be considering contacting the Scottish Minister with responsibility for procurement.

5:12pm Leslie Cree joins the meeting.

5:14pm Michael Bell joins the meeting.

11. President’s Dinner

The Chair advised the Board that the President’s Dinner had been a very successful evening with Daniel Calleja Crespo as the guest speaker sharing his insights into business related issues. He noted that 113 had attended and that the feedback had been excellent.

There followed a brief discussion relating to both the improved format of the evening and the fact that three MLAs had been unable to attend this event. It was proposed that the Secretary should contact these Members to discuss this matter.

AgreedSecretary to action

12. Business Outreach

The Chair advised the Board that, on 11th February, the first business outreach, “How the Assembly Works” event had been held for members of the Northern Ireland Region of Shopping Centre Managers.

He confirmed that the feedback from this event had been excellent with four of the businesses in attendance since applying to join the Trust.

Agreed: The Board agreed that they should roll out this format of training to other businesses on a regular basis

3. Membership

The Chair referred the Board to a list of seven applications from local organisations to join the Trust and asked the members if they were happy to approve these applications.

Agreed: The Board agreed to approve applications for membership of the NIABT from seven new business applicants.

14. Membership Analysis

The Chair advised the Board that, since April 2013, membership of the NIABT had grown from 148 to 170 members.

He noted that all the constituencies aside from Fermanagh and South Tyrone were now represented.

There followed a short discussion in relation to the encouragement of businesses from more distant constituencies to register with the Business Trust. The Chair noted that, in many instances, the travel, time and distance in relation to Parliament Buildings would prove to be too inconvenient for such businesses.