Some of you will know that I’ve spent most of the last 9 years working on a regeneration project known as the Skainos Project. This week has been huge for us, on Tuesday I had the rare privilege of signing a funding contract for more than £6m, this morning we welcomed to breakfast at EBM our locally elected politicians and MLAs as well as board members from EBM and Skainos. This group included Minister Sammy Wilson of the Department of Environment whose officials will now get the pleasure of assessing the planning application for the project which was submitted today.
If some of us were honest, even some who are closest to the project, we would confess that there have been times over the last 9 years that we thought this would never happen. But here we are and it’s a major cause for celebration. I dare say however, that there are some members of staff and some on our design team who will breathe a major sigh of relief this weekend, and maybe crack a celebratory bottle or two. It’s been full on recently and I think we deserve a day or due to pause.
Yesterday I had what turned out to be the real joy of briefing one of my board members who is a local business person. We laid out the plans on the big table in his office and I talked him through them. Later that evening I got an email from him which said the following:
It was a real privilege to review the plans earlier. If there had been no one else in the building we could have sung the doxology!!
He really got the truth that this was the end of the beginning. It may have taken nearly 9 years, but Act I is over, and that is worthy of a doxology. Now for Act II, but only after a weekend catching up on sleep.