East Border Region Committee Welcome Minister Ritchie to Annual General Meeting

30 November 2007

At its Annual General Meeting held on Friday 30th November 2007, in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle the East Border Region Committee were delighted to welcome Minister for Social Development Ms Margaret Ritchie as Keynote speaker.

The Minister highly commended the sterling work which the Committee has been doing over the past thirty one years “One reason that East Border has lasted as a cross border organisation is, I believe, because you have adopted a thoroughly functional, pragmatic approach to the process of cooperation. You have advocated cross border cooperation because you have recognised that there are some types of project that can be more effectively or cost effectively carried out on a cross border basis”.

The East Border Region Committee appointed Councillor Terry Brennan, Louth County Council as Chairman for the incoming year and Councillors Cathal Boylan MLA and Cllr John Hanna from Armagh City and District Council and Banbridge District Council respectively were elected as Vice-Chairs.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting Councillor Brennan said that he was delighted and honoured to accept the position of Chairperson of the East Border Region Committee. He paid tribute to the outgoing Joint Chairs, Alderman Margaret Craig and Cllr Michael Carr and hoped that he could emulate his predecessors’ achievements.

The East Border Region Committee is a local authority led organisation comprising ten member councils, Counties Louth, Meath and Monaghan, Newry and Mourne, Down and Banbridge Districts, Armagh City and District, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Boroughs. In recent years the Committee has established itself as being at the forefront of cross border economic development.

The East Border Region Committee currently jointly administers almost €60 million from the European Union Interreg IIIA Community Initiative. The Committee (via the East Border Region Interreg IIIA Partnership) funds projects which are innovative, exciting and, most importantly, cross border.

During her keynote address the Minister referred to the anticipated role of the East Border Region Committee in the new European Union Interreg IVA Programme:

“Under INTERREG IVA our full expectation is that East Border Region will serve as a project promoter managing a strategic plan that addresses the developmental needs of the East Border Area in areas such as tourism and business development”.

Speaking at the AGM Mrs Pamela Arthurs, Chief Executive Officer, provided members with an overview of the East Border Region Strategic Multi Annual Plan 2008-2013. Ms Arthurs informed members of the highly strategic nature in which the plan was formulated “our Multi Annual Plan involved widespread consultation and key stakeholder buy in thus ensuring the creation of a plan that is based on true cross border need”. Ms Arthurs emphasised the importance of the next six months in relation to ensuring the East Border Region Committee secure a sizable allocation of Interreg IVA funds in order to truly fulfil our aim of promoting the balanced and sustainable development of the cross border East Border Region.

Photo from left to right: Cllr Michael Carr outgoing Joint Chair EBRC, Ald. Margaret Craig outgoing Joint Chair EBRC, Minister for Social Development Ms Margaret Ritchie and Mr Eddie McGrady MP MLA

  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council