Arthur Henderson MBE and Roy Beggs MBE, who have been members of the Larne and Ballyclare-based company since its inception in 1985, oversaw the early days of the enterprise and watched it grow from strength to strength alongside their colleagues.
Beginning his career as an engineer for Belfast shipbuilding company, Harland and Wolff, Arthur served as chairman from 1992 until 2013, having volunteered to be a member of Ledcom’s board after reading an advertisement in the local newspaper in 1984.
Similarly, Roy, a former Ulster Unionist Councillor and MP for East Antrim, also joined the board in 1985 and states that one of his highlights has been seeing the growth of employment opportunities that Ledcom has provided over the years.
“The consistent growth and progress of Ledcom has just been remarkable,” Roy said. “This is all due to the steady commitment of the board of directors and the reliable staff who are under good leadership.
“Ledcom has been a fantastic asset to the area, especially when we’ve seen some of the large companies making redundancies, the company has been able to assist those who lost their jobs and help them set up their own businesses.”
Earlier this month, the business enterprise released figures from its annual report which confirmed that 212 jobs were created in Antrim and Newtownabbey in the past year. The figures also revealed that combined with the trading and employment investment of tenants’ businesses, the economic impact of Ledcom activities is over £10 million – an achievement Arthur feels is testament to the commitment of staff.
“It’s the people here that matter; the directors, past directors, the staff, past staff, these achievements wouldn’t have happened without them,” he said.
“Having served my chairmanship along with the chief executive, Ken Nelson, I have to thank him, not only for his friendship, but his dedication and commitment to this organisation. I would be a big believer in giving credit where credit is due and, in this case, it has to go to the people at Ledcom.
“It’s fantastic to see the figures in Ledcom’s recent annual report and indeed those that came before it. It has been a great privilege to have been a part of the Ledcom team to help make a real difference to our community and those within it.
“I remember our first meeting back in 1984. Roy and I, along with 13 other board members met with Jack McKee, who was the Mayor at the time and George McKinley, the Town Clerk and they asked us to set up a local enterprise agency. We were basically told to just get on with it and as I look back on the last 36 years, we’ve got on with it!”
Arthur’s steadfast dedication to the enterprise company and to improving the local area, saw him being presented with two prestigious accolades at the Larne Business Awards – an award marking his services to the community and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2012.
During speeches made at Ledcom’s annual general meeting (AGM) in December, both Arthur and Roy thanked the company and staff for the pleasure of working alongside them and wished the company continued success in the future.
Congratulating the duo on their service, current chair, Dr Norman Apsley OBE, said: “I would like sincerely to thank Arthur and Roy for their time and commitment to Ledcom and to our local community – it has been far reaching. “Their dedication and work ethic has been outstanding over the last three decades plus and I wish them a very happy retirement, though their work is not over; they continue as members of the company and we shall continue to call on their advice and experience.”
For more information about Ledcom’s work, visit: www.ledcom.org