Retrospect and Prospects for Cross-Border Cooperation on the Historic Environment

This paper identifies opportunities for cross-border cooperation on the historic environment on the island of Ireland.

Title: Retrospect and Prospects for Cross-Border Cooperation on the Historic Environment
Publication Date: June 2017
AuthorDr. Andrew G. McClelland 
Summary: This paper identifies opportunities for cross-border cooperation on the historic environment on the island of Ireland. The policy context to support such cooperation is relatively favourable. For example, the 2013 Framework for Cooperation for the Spatial Strategies of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland endorses the ‘careful conservation and enhancement of shared natural and cultural heritage assets’ on a cross-border basis, thus providing a ‘strategic entry point to further cooperation under the umbrella of spatial planning’.  However, the prospects for a strategic approach to cooperation in this space are relatively underexplored. No sustained focus is evident on the historic environment to compare with the in-depth work on shared services, evidence-informed planning and rural regeneration, amongst other topics.  Recent changes to the structure of public administration in Northern Ireland make this as opportune moment to explore the opportunities for cooperation, particularly given the ‘alignment of operations occurring between both jurisdictions’. The uncertain political climate following the UK’s decision to leave the EU further reinforces the necessity for the local heritage sector to collaborate on a cross-border basis on emerging and recurring challenges.
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