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Meet the team

Supporting businesses and economic growth in the Ards and North Down Borough.

Ann McCullough

Director of Prosperity

The Prosperity Directorate incorporates Economic Development, Tourism and Planning sections. As director, Ann is responsible for business support, economic development, tourism development and planning.

Economic Development forms part of the Prosperity Directorate within Council and reflects the integrated approach we take towards growing a sustainable economy and working to create more and better-quality jobs across Ards and North Down.


Clare McGill

Head of Economic Development 

As Head of Economic Development Clare's role is to help create the environment for businesses to set up, grow and thrive. It involves seeking out appropriate collaborations and ensuring we optimise our budgets by leveraging funding opportunities, delivering services in partnership and working to deliver outcomes so that all within the borough can benefit from a prosperous economy.


Economic Development Team

Karine McGuckin

Economic Development Manager


Karine is responsible for the overall management of the economic development programmes including; leveraging EU funding, identifying new projects and funding streams and liaising with strategic partners and agencies.


Irvine Abraham

Business Development Executive


Irvine is responsible for the planning, management and delivery of Business Support programmes. Other support services Irvine manages include: business advice, 1-1 mentoring and business appraisals.


Rowena Moore

Business Research Officer


Rowena is responsible for the market research service.  Duties include the sourcing and gathering of market intelligence including developing marketing/customer databases tailored to individual needs, statistical analysis, providing information on business support programmes, business opportunity profiles and business templates. In addition, she provides support in the organisation and delivery of the annual events programme.


Maura Bettes

Economic Development Officer


Start your business growth journey with Maura. Responsible for the planning, management and delivery of Start-Up programmes, Maura identifies sources of funding and resources for the business community.


Angela McAllister

Assistant Economic Development Officer


Angela assists the Economic Development Officer & is responsible for development, management & delivery of identified support mechanisms to facilitate business growth within the Borough, whilst liaising with business networks, to ensure optimal guidance is provided.


Grace Gamble

Finance Officer


Grace is responsible for the day to day financial operations within the department and works closely with officers in the team on funded programmes.


Karen Lennie/Lisa Travers

Administrative Assistants (Job Share)


Karen and Lisa are responsible for event preparation and marketing communication with clients. They work across the department on a range of programmes and can sign post clients to the relevant officer who can deal with their queries.


Development Projects Team

Alison Stobie

Development Projects Manager


Alison is responsible for the overall planning, management, co-ordination and control of a variety of contracts including Bangor Marina, Exploris and Pickie Funpark. Her responsibility also includes creative and digital industry development and growth which involves identifying new projects and alongside funding streams. In addition, planning and delivering a variety of projects and contracts throughout the Directorate.


Jayne Taylor

Development Projects Officer


Jayne is responsible for the co-ordination and administration of a variety of functions including creative and digital projects. This is supplemented by working on the area of employability and skills for the benefit of businesses.  She also assists in the monitoring of Council contracts including Exploris and Pickie Fun Park.


Niall Drew

Creative and Digital Officer


Niall is responsible for development and co-ordination of improvement projects and programmes to support the Borough’s creative and digital industries. This involves Niall working with both public and private sector partners to deliver the Digital Strategy to ensure the Borough is fit for purpose within the overall digital landscape.


Martin Mawhinney

Administrative Assistant


Martin is responsible for general administrative duties within Economic Development and Development Projects and supporting and co-ordinating meetings and partnerships across these service units.


Labour Market Partnership

Nicola Webster-Pickett

Labour Market Partnership Manager


Nicola is responsible for the overall management of the Ards and North Down Labour Market Partnership including: Management of the Partnership and delivery of the Action Plan for 2021-23 including identifying and delivery on projects/programmes/interventions to deliver on the objective of the Labour Market Partnership.  She also works to develop and cultivate relationships with key strategic partners to deliver a collaborative, multi-agency approach to the delivery of the work of the LMP.


Linda Sims

Labour Market Partnership Administrative Officer


Linda is responsible for the administration of the Labour Market Partnership including preparing for meetings and minute taking on behalf of the partnership.  Linda also supports the preparation of reports and all administrative tasks that support the work of the LMP.