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Council to consider spending £10,000 to host Northern Ireland Economic Conference

Perks include 10 complimentary delegate places and additional places at 'significant discount'

Slieve Donard Hotel

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is considering splashing out £10,000 to take on the role of lead sponsor for this year’s Northern Ireland Economic Conference.

The district hosted the event – organised by Agenda NI – at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle in 2019.

And now the council has been approached again and asked to consider acting as lead sponsor for what has been described as “Northern Ireland’s premier economic analysis event”.

The council has been told of what it will get for its investment.

This includes, among other things, the council logo featuring on all marketing and promotional materials, the opportunity for the council chairperson to ‘open’ the conference and to provide a keynote speaker, 10 complimentary delegate places and additional places at “significant discount”.

The council logo would also be projected onto the conference screen on the official event slide, to be displayed during all breaks, as well as on the conference website.

The council may also provide “corporate gifts for distribution to delegates”.

The matter will be considered at the enterprise, regeneration and tourism committee when it meets on Monday.

A report to committee states: “Now in its 25th year, the conference is firmly established as the annual autumn ‘summit’ for Northern Ireland’s economic community, including policy-makers and business leaders.”

And it adds: “By hosting the 2020 Northern Ireland Economic Conference, council will position itself as the driving force behind the local economy, demonstrating economic leadership and a vision for the future of the area.

“Association with Northern Ireland’s major annual economic conference is a valuable opportunity to reinforce the council’s identity and highlight its economic development activities with a key audience of economic policy-makers and decision-makers from across Northern Ireland and further afield.”

Issues to feature this year will be the priorities from the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ document and the Northern Ireland economy post-Brexit.

Committee has been told that the £10,000 needed to sponsor the occasion is “available in forecast budgets”.

The matter will be considered on Monday before a final decision is taken at the monthly meeting early next month.

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