Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ilex chief set to quit ahead of the Culture year for BBC Trustee post

The head of Londonderry’s urban regeneration company Ilex has confirmed she is to quit ahead of the UK City of Culture year.

Aideen McGinley has accepted the position of BBC Trustee for Northern Ireland and Ilex confirmed yesterday that she will leave the company by November.

The Strabane woman said that the fact that her secondment from the civil service to Ilex was coming to an end as the new opportunity with the BBC opened up had influenced her decision .

Dr McGinley told the Telegraph yesterday that Derry was now in much better shape than it was when she first took over the reigns at Ilex almost three years ago.

She was a key architect of Derry’s UK City of Culture bid and instrumental in spearheading developments at Ebrington and in drafting the city’s One Plan.

Earlier this year, however, she apologised before the Public Accounts Committee at Stormont after auditors confirmed Ilex had overspent £400,000 without approval from the government departments which set it up.

A report issued by the same committee last week pointed to a “systematic breakdown in the application of key spending controls” within Ilex for 2010-11.

Dr McGinley said yesterday it was she who brought the matter to the attention of the auditors.

She said: “There were no financial irregularities, but there were procedural issues. These have been dealt with and there is an action plan in place for the future.

Ms McGinley said she will be staying on in her role for a few months. She added: “This is an opportunity for me and I feel very privileged to be appointed and I will of course continue to be very interested in everything happening in this city.

“There have been a lot of big achievements and a lot of challenges and I believe I am leaving when the city is in good shape.

Interim chairman of Ilex, Matt McNulty, said Dr McGinley’s contribution has been “enormous”.

The hunt for a new chief executive will begin within weeks.

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