NI Chamber and SSE Airtricity ‘Minister on the Move’ series kicks off in Co. Antrim

Local businesses gathered in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim yesterday (11 February), to speak with First Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Mervyn Storey, and hear the inspirational success story of local business McAuley Engineering, who hosted the event at their facility.

The event was the first in the 2016 series of Minister on the Move, an initiative by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) in partnership with SSE Airtricity.

The initiative brings Ministers and industry stakeholders together at the premises of a host business, allowing attendees to learn about the successes and challenges facing a variety of sectors and any local issues of note. The events also provide an open forum for delegates to share their views with Assembly Ministers.

As well as receiving a departmental update from newly appointed Minister Storey, First Minister Arlene Foster spoke to attendees about her vision for Northern Ireland and the importance of getting out to meet with people from all around the province.

The attendees also heard the success story of McAuley Engineering from the company’s Managing Director Jonathan McAuley, and embarked on a tour of the 74,000 square foot facilities. 

Commenting on the Minister on the Move initiative, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber, said:  

“Chambers of Commerce are committed to helping businesses grow and we see Minister on the Move as being an important and mutually beneficial initiative for both business and government.  Today’s event created a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate.

"We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”

Also speaking at the event, Stephen Gallagher, Head of Business Energy at SSE Airtricity, said:

“SSE Airtricity is delighted to sponsor this Minister on the Move event. We value the time taken by Minster Storey to give a departmental update, and we were very fortunate to also be joined by First Minister Foster.

"The Minister on the Move events are an important opportunity to build connections among business people across Northern Ireland.  As an energy supplier, SSE Airtricity is always keen to meet with our customers and stakeholders and we thank McAuley Engineering for hosting the event and providing a tour of their facilities.”