Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust

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According to an Executive press release:

The Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) was established in 2002 as an independent, and self-financing educational charity, which organises programmes for Assembly Members and Business representatives to include exchanges, seminars, visits and placements. The NIABT has the support and involvement of all the main political parties in the Assembly and of a representative group from the local business community and its mission statement is “To advance and encourage business understanding of the Assembly and Assembly Members’ understanding of business.”[1]

The International Association of Business and Parliament states:

It modelled itself on kindred schemes in other parliamentary bodies and it operates in line with the principles of the International Association of Business and Parliament. In Northern Ireland 2002 was a time of politically difficult circumstances but the NIABT made real progress in bringing together parliamentarians and the business community. Following the suspension of the Assembly in October 2002, the NIABT remained in ‘warm storage’ until restoration in May 2007.
Since then the NIABT has sprung into action with a series of events. These have included an open day for the business sector and three seminars on the role of the Northern Ireland Assembly, policy and legislature development and the work of the parliamentarian. In February Mr. William Hay MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and President of the Trust, held a dinner in Parliament Buildings with the MLAs and business leaders. The keynote speaker was Sir Reg Empey MLA, Minister for Employment and Learning.
The Board of Trustees have been working hard to develop a strategic plan and over the coming months we will be holding further seminars and encouraging visits by parliamentarians to companies. The NIABT is managed by Kate McCullough from the External Liaison Unit of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Kate has a background in working in the private, voluntary and community and public sectors.[2]


The Trust is run by a 'Board of 14 Trustees; 7 parliamentarians, 7 non-parliamentarians'[3]


Former members

Non-Parliamentarian representatives



  1. Location: Home > News releases > Department for Employment and Learning > February 2008 news releases > 07 February 2008 - Skills challenge discussed at Stormont
  3. Janet Seaton Head of Research and Information Services 28 March 2007 Paper prepared by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, BODIES PROMOTING LINKS BETWEEN BUSINESS AND PARLIAMENTS
  8. This seems unlikely since the Trust was reportedly founded in 2002 Belfast Harbour commissioners