Lisburn business owners hold talks with NIO minister

Cllr Uel Mackin (left) and Chamber President Stephen Houston show Lord Dunlop (right) around Lisburn city centre. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons
Cllr Uel Mackin (left) and Chamber President Stephen Houston show Lord Dunlop (right) around Lisburn city centre. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons

Lisburn Chamber of Commerce welcomed Lord Dunlop, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office, to the city this week.

The meeting on Tuesday, October 4 was one of a series Lord Dunlop is undertaking as part of the government’s engagement process with the local business community.

Richard Graham (left) from Alfredo's restaurant chats to Lord Dunlop and Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Houston. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons

Richard Graham (left) from Alfredo's restaurant chats to Lord Dunlop and Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Houston. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons

Lisburn Chamber members used the event to highlight key issues affecting local businesses, including Brexit, skills shortages and rates valuations. They also took the opportunity to discuss the immediate and long-term economic priorities for the area and Northern Ireland as a whole.

Ulster Bank Lisburn hosted the meeting, which was attended by representatives of several local businesses including Coca Cola, Montupet, Templeton Robinson, Concept Advertising, Helios IT, Greens Foodfare and GMcG Chartered Accountants.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council was represented by Cllr Uel Mackin, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

Following the meeting, Lord Dunlop took a tour of the City centre which included a stop off at one of the Chamber’s long standing members, Smyth Patterson, who are celebrating 80 years in business.

Director Colin Patterson was on hand to show Lord Dunlop around the store and discuss issues affecting local retailers.

At Lisburn Square, Lord Dunlop received a briefing from Nicky McCollum on how plans for the square are progressing.

Discussions continued over lunch at Alfredo’s on the Square, hosted by Richard Graham, before Lord Dunlop departed for further engagements.

Speaking after the visit, Chamber President Stephen Houston commented: “Lisburn Chamber of Commerce welcomed Lord Dunlop’s visit to Lisburn and the engagement process provided a valuable platform to raise issues affecting Lisburn directly with the Northern Ireland Office and ensuring that local businesses are well informed on current government plans.”