21/12/2011

Other NI News In Brief

Dumping Costs Man Dearly

A Lisburn man has been fined £7,000, plus departmental costs of £453.
08 and court costs of £37 at Lisburn Magistrates' Court for waste offences. Robert Johnston of Halftown Road, Lisburn, was fined for storing and burning waste without the proper authorisations. He admitted allowing the deposit of waste at this address without planning permission or a waste management licence. When officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency visited the site in July 2010, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service was there putting out a fire. The mixed waste found on site included metals, carpets, mattresses, paint cans, black bin bags, gas bottles and furniture. Asbestos waste was also found on site, and is considered hazardous under the Hazardous Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005. The storage of asbestos on site and large scale burning that took place were considered harmful to the environment and to human health.

Derry School Visit On Curriculum

The NI Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has visited St Cecilia's College, Belmont House in Londonderry. "I welcome the opportunity to visit St Cecilia’s College and see for myself their wonderful new school building which was officially opened by my predecessor Caitríona Ruane just over a year ago. It receives funding through my Department’s Extended School’s Programme and I welcome the fact that they are putting that funding to excellent use by providing a range of valuable clubs and programmes to further support and develop their pupils. These include: an after school’s study centre; careers projects; a music guild; as well as drama, sports and gardening clubs. St Cecilia’s also uses this funding to provide local people with access to their facilities outside of school hours to help promote engagement with the wider community and I commend the school for this initiative."

Foster Backs R&D

The Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Invest Northern Ireland is enhancing its support for research and development (R&D), specifically targeting small businesses and prototype development. "The support being offered under Invest Northern Ireland’s ‘Boosting Business through R&D’ campaign will help to stimulate more research and development in companies of all sizes. Recent figures show that Northern Ireland expenditure on R&D in 2010 was the highest ever, with spending by businesses increasing by 6% on the previous year. This shows that businesses recognise very clearly the value of investing in new products and processes to keep ahead of the competition and strengthen their long-term position," she said. The support is part of Invest NI’s Boosting Business campaign and aims to encourage more market-led R&D, in particular among small businesses. It will offer small companies up to 75% grant support for R&D projects up to a maximum of £50,000. Applications for the support will be through a streamlined process making it easier for companies to quickly access the support, and will be sought on a call basis.

(BMcC)

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