12th Jan, 2014
At its Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 12th December 2013, in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, the East Border Region Board appointed Cllr Alan McDowell, Ards Borough Council as Chairman for the incoming year while Cllr Peter Savage from Louth County Council and Cllr Jim McElroy from Banbridge District Council were elected as Vice-Chairs.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting Cllr McDowell stated that he was delighted and honoured to accept the position of Chairperson of the East Border Region Board. He paid tribute to the outgoing Chair, Councillor Gerald Mallon and stated that he hoped that he could emulate his predecessors’ achievements and was looking forward to a successful year ahead.
Speaking at the conference Ms Pamela Arthurs, Chief Executive of East Border Region was delighted to provide members with an overview of the success of the Organisation during the past year. The EBR is a cross border local authority led Organisation who are part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross-border Programme.
Members were provided with an overview of the activity of EBR over the year and of the 11 INTERREG IVA funded projects which EBR administer. The 11 projects total just over €15.5 million and span the fields of Enterprise, Tourism and Environment. The focus of this year’s AGM was on SMEs and their involvement in EBR INTERREG projects. Members listened to participant businesses from the EBR PLATO, Life Sciences and STEM projects who demonstrated the benefits to their business from participating in the projects. Benefits experienced range from cost savings through energy management to collaborative business opportunities and networking. In addition members listened to a graduate and a business representative from the EBR ASPIRE project. The Aspire project aims to help local micro-businesses to grow, while at the same time providing jobs and employment opportunities for graduates in the East Border Region. The project funds 60 graduates placed for one year with 60 businesses within the Region. Each business has a business plan in place to ensure that the graduate’s particular skills are being used effectively to boost the bottom line for the business and maximise employment opportunities for the graduate.
The East Border Region Board 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 Board has established itself as being at the forefront of cross border economic development. In the incoming year the Board will be focussing on the continued roll out of funding in the region through the INTERREG IVA Programme, lobbying on the framework of the INTERREG VA Programme and developing our links with our colleagues in Europe.
Photo caption: (from l to r) EBR representatives Ms Pamela Arthurs Chief Executive, Cllr Alan McDowell incoming Chairman, Cllr Gerald Mallon outgoing Chairman and Cllr Peter Savage incoming Vice Chairman pictured the at the East Border Region AGM in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk.