The Gallaher Trust helps build new generation of business leaders in Ballymena 

Ballymena BID pilots ‘Leaders of Tomorrow Programme’ 

THE Gallaher Trust has pledged support of over £20,000 to Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID)’s ‘Leaders of Tomorrow Programme’; a new initiative created to support business growth in Ballymena town centre, through the provision of skills and confidence training for 24 employees across 21 local businesses that will help facilitate career progression.

Spearheaded by the BID, the idea for the initial pilot programme was conceived as businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic reported significant challenges with internal promotions, due to self-confidence issues among staff reluctant to transition into management roles. 

Ballymena BID Manager, Emma McCrea, will assume overall management of the programme which will be delivered by Mallusk-based Core Impact, a specialist in leadership development using a coaching and mentoring approach.

“Our trainees can look forward to skills development across a range of areas including leadership styles, self-care and resilience strategies, team leadership, strengthening relationships and confidence building around decision making,” explains Emma. “In addition, each participant will have access to an online learning system and a further six months of support following completion of formal training, including best practice sharing sessions.”

The timescale of four full days over a two-month period is designed to allow time for trainees to action their learnings within the workplace before moving on to the next module.

James Perry MBE, Trustee of The Gallaher Trust says, “We initially contacted the Ballymena BID to explain the work of The Gallaher Trust, and whether there might be opportunities for the Trust to support local retail businesses. 

“The BID suggested their ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ Programme as an initiative to which The Gallaher Trust could lend our support. The COVID pandemic had a devastating effect on both individuals and businesses, both of whom deserve as much help as they can to recover and progress. It is encouraging that 90% of the participants will come from independent businesses, many of whom could not otherwise avail of such a valuable assistance.

“The ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ programme is an excellent vehicle through which growth and success can be achieved and The Gallaher Trust is delighted to be a part of such a positive and locally focused programme.”

The Gallaher Trust is an independent charity that was established in 2017, with the aim of supporting delivery partners in the wider Ballymena community to promote job creation, skills development and provide assistance to disadvantaged adults. 

For more information on the work of The Gallaher Trust, visit