Cross-Border Planning Network Secures Further Funding

Harmonising cross-border planning and increasing cooperation among Councils along the Irish border in service delivery, economic development and environmental management remain an important priority for both Irish administrations. The Cross-Border Spatial Planning and Training Network (CroSPlaN), managed by the International Centre for Local and Regional Development,  has secured a second round of funding to support new initiatives to strengthen cooperation among local councils in the border region.

The programme is funded under the EU INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes body and will be rolled out as part of the wider Ireland-Northern Ireland Cross-Border Cooperation Observatory (INICCO II) Programme managed by the Centre for Cross Border Studies and a number of key agencies from across the island of Ireland. The INICCO II Programme – including CroSPlaN II – will be officially launched on the 9th of April in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast by Dr Malcolm McKibbin, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Permanent Secretary of OFMDFM.

First established in 2009, the now-named CroSPlaN II is a unique partnership that brings together researchers, planners, councilors and officials in Northern Ireland and the Southern Border Region. Under this funding CroSPlaN II will deliver on three initiatives in 2013 and 2014:

  1. The role of shared services in promoting greater cooperation among local authorities in the Irish Border region;
  2. An executive training and animation programme that supports innovative approaches to inter-jurisdictional cooperation; and
  3. Developing and using common data to develop shared perspectives on common challenges and opportunities.

The CroSPlaN II programme will support the emerging and ongoing local / regional government and planning reforms across the island of Ireland – and support public bodies and cross-border networks through its executive training programmes, especially as they relate to good governance, spatial planning and sustainable development, and enhanced cross-border cooperation. The programme will also provide analytical mapping tools that bring together compatible census information to support spatial planning on a cross-border and all-island basis and promote the more efficient delivery of public services from a citizen-centric perspective. CroSPlaN II will also make available good practices in spatial planning and local and regional development. It will also raise the awareness of the important linkages between EU and central government territorial policies with a particular focus on building territorial cooperation, which will be crucial for future EU funding programmes.

These initiatives will be further supported by annual conferences held in association with the Centre for Cross Border Studies, and the continued publication of the ICLRD’s annual journal, Borderlands: The Journal of Spatial Planning in Ireland.

The International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD), based in Armagh, is a North-South-US partnership which aims to explore and expand the contribution that planning and the development of the physical, social and economic infrastructures can make to improve the lives of people in both jurisdictions.  The Centre for Cross Border Studies, also based in Armagh, researches and develops cooperation across the Irish border in education and training, health, ICT, the economy, public administration and other practical areas.

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Further details from:

John Driscoll, Director,  International Centre for Local and Regional Development

Email: driscoll@iclrd.org

Caroline Creamer, Deputy Director, International Centre for Local and Regional Development

Email: Caroline.Creamer@nuim.ie

Tel. 028 3751 1550     [048 3751 1550 from Republic of Ireland]