Belfast Chamber Celebrates Year of Transformation and Sets Sights on New Opportunities

Enhancing the vibrancy and appeal of the city centre is crucial to unlocking new opportunities for Belfast’s citizens – that was the resounding message at the Belfast Chamber Annual General Meeting.

The event, which took place at Customs House, highlighted a year of significant progress and outlined the Chamber’s ambitious plans for further revitalisation and growth of the city.

Gerry Hughes, a highly experienced real estate professional and honorary professor at Queen’s University Belfast, was the keynote speaker and provided an authoritative insight the importance of city planning to a region’s economy – a key theme of the Chamber.

Gavin Annon, President of Belfast Chamber, said:
“It has been a truly transformative year for the Chamber, during which we have been able to implement significant changes thanks to the unwavering support of the board, council members, and most importantly, our members.
“As the voice for business in the city, Belfast Chamber is continually seeking ways to create a more vibrant and thriving city for our citizens.

“Our members have told us clearly that they wish to see continued investment in our city centre, along with a reduction in vacancy rates, the removal of dereliction and enhancements to our public realm.

“This year has shown that we can achieve great things when we work together to establish the right structures and frameworks to address social and economic needs and grow our city centre economy.

“Belfast Chamber is passionate, energised and fully committed to delivering for our citizens, and enhancing our great city as a vibrant and attractive place to work, learn, visit and invest.”

President Gavin Annon, will remain in post after assuming the role last year and will continue to work closely with Clare Guinness, who was appointed CEO of Belfast Chamber in September. Darragh McCarthy was elected in as Vice President, and Paul McClurg as Treasurer.

Keynote speaker Gerry Hughes said:
“There is immense untapped potential in our cities. To unlock this potential, we need strong city leadership combined with clear purpose and decisive action, supported by a highly skilled team.

“Our main focus must be on action and tangible results. Strategies and plans alone are meaningless without effective implementation and measurable outcomes.

“It is crucial to develop a partnership culture that truly engages the private sector as equal partners, ensuring we deliver fully for our citizens. This requires a culture of trust and collaboration, moving away from a ‘them and us’ mindset to one of unity and shared responsibility.”