OUR STORY

The History of The Gallaher Trust

In 1857, local man Tom Gallaher started a tobacco business in Derry/Londonderry which eventually grew to become the fifth largest tobacco company in the world. In 2007, Gallaher was acquired by Japan Tobacco and it became part of Japan Tobacco International (JTI).

The story in Ballymena began in 1942 when Gallaher Limited opened a new manufacturing facility. Over the next 75 years, this factory played a major role in the community by providing highly skilled, well-paid jobs and generous support for local charitable causes.

Sadly, the factory closed in 2017 due to declining sales and increasing regulation. In response to the closure, and in recognition of its 75-year presence in Ballymena, JTI donated a £5 million legacy to help support the local community. This legacy is delivered through The Gallaher Trust.

The History of The Gallaher Trust

In 1857, local man Tom Gallaher started a tobacco business in Derry/Londonderry which eventually grew to become the fifth largest tobacco company in the world. In 2007, Gallaher was acquired by Japan Tobacco and it became part of Japan Tobacco International (JTI).

The story in Ballymena began in 1942 when Gallaher Limited opened a new manufacturing facility. Over the next 75 years, this factory played a major role in the community by providing highly skilled, well-paid jobs and generous support for local charitable causes.

Sadly, the factory closed in 2017 due to declining sales and increasing regulation. In response to the closure, and in recognition of its 75-year presence in Ballymena, JTI donated a £5 million legacy to help support the local community. This legacy is delivered through The Gallaher Trust.

The Trust’s Mission

Thanks to the JTI legacy, The Gallaher Trust expects to be able to support the Ballymena community for at least the next 15 years, by allocating circa £330,000 per annum to eligible delivery partners that are driving job creation, skills development and assisting disadvantaged adults.

The Gallaher Trust is unique in that its actions are focused solely on benefitting the Ballymena community and enriching the lives of those who live there.

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Gallaher Trust is an independent registered charity which was established by a Trust Deed in September 2017.

The work of the Trust is undertaken by the Board of Directors of Gallaher Corporate Trustee Limited in accordance with the terms of the Trust Deed.

Ian Paisley MP

Ian is a Member of Parliament for North Antrim, being first elected to this post in 2010. Before that, Ian served for 13 years in the Northern Ireland Assembly as an MLA for North Antrim and between 2007-2008, as Junior Minister in the office of First and Deputy First Minister. Ian also served for seven years as a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He is a published author and a columnist.  Ian is the Chairman of The Gallaher Trust.

The Gallaher Trust is supported and administered by two key members:

Greg McKinley,
Director of Operations

Greg joined Gallaher Ltd in 1980 on an Engineering Scholarship from Queen’s University, Belfast and remained with Gallaher/Japan Tobacco International until 2017. During that time, he held a number of senior management roles including Factory Director, Continuous Improvement Director and Engineering Director. Greg was actively involved in creating and establishing The Gallaher Trust. As Director of Operations, Greg is responsible for managing the efficient operations of the Trust, including the identification, creation, and management of projects with third sector partners to meet the Trust’s objectives.

Michael Wilson,
Protector

As former Managing Partner of Elliott Duffy Garrett Solicitors, Michael has over 40 years’ experience as a solicitor, including 24 years as a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner. He specialises in regulatory and governance matters, providing strategic advice at Board level to commercial, publicly funded and charity clients. Michael is also an accredited mediator. As Protector (or Special Trustee) of the Trust, Michael’s main duty is to oversee the work of the Board of Directors of the Corporate Trustee and to protect the Trust’s property. In addition, Michael provides guidance on an ongoing basis to the Directors on governance and responsibilities as charitable trustees and on other issues that arise in the course of the Trust’s funding programmes.

To find out more about our story, watch the short video below.