NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Proceedings Monday 23 June 2014

The meeting opened in public session at 5:10pm.


Judith Cochrane MLA Chair
Phil Flanagan MLA
Claire Sugden MLA
Stephen Kelly Manufacturing NI
John Rooney Rooney Fish
Chris Brown MCE PR
Arran Rutledge Norbrook Laboratories
John Stewart Director of Information and Outreach

In Attendance: 

Susie Brown Secretary
Louise Close Deputy Secretary
Nicola Crawford Administrator


Alban Maginness MLA
Leslie Cree MLA
Robin Newton MLA
Alan Dickson PricewaterhouseCoopers
John O’Farrell ICTU
Michael Bell NI Food & Drink Association
James Haughey Norbrook Laboratories
Richard Stewart Treasurer

Agenda Items:

The Chair thanked Phil Flanagan for his hard work over the last 12

months and welcomed new faces to the Board; Claire Sugden MLA, Chris Brown and Stephen Kelly.

The Chair also echoed the sentiments of the NIABT President at the AGM by paying tribute to the late Lord Ballyedmond and David McClarty MLA.

1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

2. Declaration of Interests:


3. Minutes of the meetings held on 10th March 2014:

Agreed: The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 10th March 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 10th March had formed the basis for the agenda items for this meeting.

5. Financial Update:

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

There was a short discussion about the cost of the Scotland Programme and the Women in Business event.  The Board were advised that there is no limit to the cost of individual events but that the Women in Business event was unusually high due to expected turnout.

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

The Board agreed that value for money should be assessed before agreeing to fund events.

That the net cost for the Scotland Programme detailed in the ‘Past Events’ section would be updated.

6. Past and Upcoming Events

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

The Vice Chair stated that marketing for the event on 9th September should be done before the July holidays commence.

Agreed: That an invite for the September briefing be sent before the July holidays.

7. Scottish Educational Programme:

The Chair advised the Board that an NIABT delegation had recently returned from an educational visit to Edinburgh in May and asked if members who attended had any comments on the programme.

The Vice Chair, John and Stephen all agreed that it had been an     excellent trip with the right balance of quality and quantity.

There was a short discussion on the low number of MLAs on the trip compared to the number of business people.

5:35pm      Phil Flanagan joins the meeting.

8. European Educational Programme:

The Chair advised the Board that the Secretariat are currently working with the Office of the NI Executive on the European Programme which will take place from 17 – 19 November 2014.

The Chair also advised that the PSNI were interested in sending Jonathan Middleton, their European programme Office manager and/or Una Williamson, Head of Department on the programme.

Agreed:     The PSNI representatives can attend the programme, however must cover all costs.

To send out the video link for the briefing on ‘The importance of Europe’, to encourage members to attend the next event.

9. 2015 President’s Dinner

The Chair advised the Board that a letter had been issued to Mark Carney inviting him to attend the President’s Dinner in February 2015 as Guest Speaker.

There followed a brief discussion relating to MLA attendance at the dinner and what could be done to encourage more to attend.

Agreed:     MLAs would be allocated a table at the dinner to host.

10. Review of Public Administration event: 

The Vice Chair provided the Board with an update on this event stating that she was unsure of the structure as yet but was sure it would be of interest to people particularly female entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs.

Agreed:    The Board are content to host the event.

11. 2013/14 Draft Trustee Report:

Agreed:     The Board were content with the Report.

12. NIABT Review:

The Chair referred the Board to the review of the NIABT Business plan for 2012/14.

The Deputy Secretary highlighted the key areas of the review to members.

There followed a discussion about how to encourage new members from outside the Belfast area.

Agreed:              The Board to consider ideas for new initiatives and encouraging new members for the next meeting.

13. Business Plan 2014-2016:

The Chair advised the Board that a new business plan had been drafted and asked that they review it and feedback their comments at the next Board meeting.

Agreed:              The Business Plan will be updated with membership data from June 2014.

14. Directors & Officers Insurance:

The Chair stated that correspondence had been issued to the Board relating to the purchase of Directors and Officers insurance with feedback indicating that the matter needed to be looked into further.

Agreed:     The Board agreed that more work needed to be done on this matter and that it should be on the agenda for the next meeting.

15. Membership:

The Chair referred the Board to a list of 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 the new business applicants.

The Vice Chair suggested that length of membership should be added to the information about the businesses no longer wishing to renew their membership.

16. NI Charity Commission:

The Chair advised the Board that the registration process for the NI Charity Commission has been extended to allow for the review of the Articles of Association.

17. Any Other Business:

Phil Flanagan thanked the Board for all their help and support during his Chairmanship of the Trust.

Date of Next Meeting

The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 22nd September at 5.00pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 6.30pm.

Mrs Judith Cochrane MLA
Chair, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust
23 September 2014