Council secures Shared Island Local Authority Development Funding
30 September 2022
Derry City and Strabane District Council has been awarded funding for a number of innovative projects under the Irish Government’s Shared Island Local Authority Development Funding Scheme that was announced by An Taoiseach Micheal Martin in Cavan yesterday.
As part of the scheme, Derry City and Strabane District Council will be partnering with a number of local authorities on a cross-border basis to bring to forward a number of exciting and innovative new projects through feasibility or pre-planning stages.
Derry City and Strabane District Council is partnered with Donegal County Council on three of the projects that include a Sli Colmcille pilgrimage route, a North West De-carb Exemplar Decarbonised Public Building and Transportation project and a NW Regulatory Technology Cluster.
The North West De-carb Exemplar Decarbonised Public Building and Transportation Project sees both Councils making a commitment to the North West region to become a leader in achieving national and international climate change targets and becoming carbon neutral by 2045. The North West Regional Energy Agency will be the vehicle to deliver this cross border exemplar project to inspire its carbon neutral journey.
The North West Regulatory Tech Cluster project will see the two Councils working with partners to develop a cross border, all island national institute in Reg Tech, bringing companies, academics and public bodies together to drive world class research and innovation. The Institute will have campuses in Letterkenny, Derry and Belfast and work across all sectors to accelerate digital and data driven regional innovation which in turn will unlock economic benefits.
The Sli Cholmcille Project will see the two Councils develop a pilgrimage linking key Cholmcille related sites across the cross border landscape to support tourism development, recreation and connection with communities through a shared heritage of the saint.
The Council will also team up with Galway City Council on two innovative projects that include a creative arts initiative entitled the Atlantic Region of Creative Content (ARCC) that will test the feasibility of the virtual production workspaces located at key juncture points across the region. The second project, entitled Culture Connects, will look at the feasibility of a cross-border support programme for emerging cultural practitioners to develop a contemporary model of support and mobility for the sector as well as examining artist residency and co-working spaces.
The fifth and last project that Derry City and Strabane District Council will be involved in is for a project entitled Our Learning Island, in partnership with Cork City Council that will explore the feasibility of a medium-term Learning Island exchange programme which will involve education leaders, tutors and learners in an exchange with all members of the Irish UNESCO Learning City Network, including Belfast, Limerick and Dublin.
The Shared Island chapter is included in the Irish Government’s National Development Plan that outlines its commitment to support the work of cross-border local authority partnerships and provides support to pursue opportunities for collaborative investment and working.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy said she was delighted that the Council was successful in five cross border collaborative projects as part of the Shared Island funding scheme.
She commented: “I am of the firm view that the North West City Region is already an exemplar of best practice in cross border collaboration and thanks to this project we can further build on the very robust existing relationships we have to bring these projects to fruition. This initiative will also allow us to create new partnerships with other local authorities on a cross border basis so that we can work more effectively and collaboratively in sharing our experiences and facing challenges together. By working with our cross border partners we can continue to deliver a wide range of innovative cross border projects that are aimed at driving regional social and economic growth and environmental well-being.”
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Liam Blaney said he was delighted to partner with Derry City & Strabane District Council on a number of exciting and innovative projects that will lay the foundation to drive growth in the North West City Region.
He said “working on these partnership projects will delivery tangible benefits and provide new opportunities for the entire North West City Region and further strengthen our existing relationships to achieve our shared strategic priorities.”
The Mayor concluded that Council was looking forward to working with Donegal County Council, Galway County Council and Cork City Council and all the relevant partners to further nurture the relationships and create new knowledge and opportunity through delivery of these exciting projects.