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Derry and Strabane Smart Village Network Project 

Please register NOW for one of the mandatory pre-application workshops


PEACEPLUS is a new European Union funding Programme, designed to support peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. PEACEPLUS aims to build upon the work of the previous Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (PEACE) and Interreg Europe Programmes.

Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) seek to identify up to 8 prospective partners from rurally based organisations to participate in a funding bid to establish Rural Smart Digital Hubs within the council area under PEACEPLUS Funding Investment Area 2.4

DCSDC Business team have established a cross-border partnership to develop the Smart Village Network Project (SVNP) bid, which will harness the benefits of advanced connectivity, digital transformation, and the green transition to deliver growth and wellbeing across our rural economies, environment, and society. 

A successful collaborative bid under PEACEPLUS Investment Area 2.4 will enable Derry City and Strabane District Counci to expand connectivity and digital capabilities in the rural areas within the Derg, Faughan and Sperrin District Electoral Areas (DEAs) our aim is to establish at least one Rural Smart Digital Hub within existing properties in each of the target DEAs.

The Smart Village Network Project (SVNP) is a competitive process to identify and provide consultancy support to eight prospective partners to form part of a comprehensive PEACEPLUS bid for a share of the PEACEPLUS funding. 

The Programme will be open for applications as follows:

  • Opening date: Thursday 24 August 2023
  • Closing date:  Thursday 19 October 2023 at 12 noon

Table 1.1 below outlines important dates for community information sessions and engage with DCSDC in mandatory pre-application support facilitated by consultants Bable.

Important Dates

Table 1.1
Information sessions

6 September 2023 2pm-4pm, Killeter Heritage Centre, 16 Main Street, Killeter, Co. Tyrone, BT81 7EL

6 September 2023 6pm-8pm, Glenelly House, 11b Main Street, Plumbridge, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT79 8AA

7 September 2023 10am-12noon, Eglinton Community Centre, 40 Main Street, Eglinton, Co. Londonderry, BT47 3AD

A video recording of the information session is available here

Expression of Interest opens

6 September 2023 (not mandatory)

Please submit Expression of Interest Form via email to

 [email protected]

Familiarisation Trip

13 September 9:30am-4pm
Familiarisation trip to three Rural Digital Hubs. Booking essential

Expression of Interest closes15 September 2023 at 5pm (not mandatory)

Pre-application workshops

Attending one of the Pre-Application workshops is mandatory to meet the eligibility criteria  Book Here

19 September 2023 9am-12noon, Aghyaran Community Centre (St Davog’s GAC), 5 Aghyaran Road, Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, BT81 7YA

19 September 2023 2pm-5pm, Orange Hall, 16a Lisnarragh Road, Donemana, Co. Tyrone, BT82 0QL

20 September 2023 9am-12noon, Diamond Centre, 630 Baranailt Road, Claudy, Co. Londonderry, BT47 4EA

Pre-application clinics

3 and 4 October 2023 

1-2-1 consultation appointments with BABLE

Schedule to be confirmed based on demand; online sessions may also be provided as required. Booking for the clinics will open at the Mandatory Pre-Application workshops and be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Last date to submit pre-application questions

6 October 2023 by 5pm

Please submit questions to [email protected]

Application process closes

19 October 2023  at 12noon

Please submit applications via email to

[email protected]

Only complete applications received on time at will be considered. Please note that we will also cross reference attendance at the Mandatory Pre-Application Workshop to confirm eligibility

Notification of Decision

27 October 2023

Successful Applicants will be informed and assigned a BABLE mentor for 1-2-1 support

30 October 2023

Unsuccessful Applicants will be informed and signposted to the appropriate support

Successful Applicants

1- 15 November 2023

1-to-1 mentoring support (Online)

Successful applicants must be available for up to 15 hours mentoring across the first two weeks of November 2023

PEACEPLUS Funding Bid Submission

November/December 2023 (TBC)

PEACEPLUS Investment Area 2.4 Smart Towns and Villages application will be submitted by Derry City and Strabane District Council as lead partner, on behalf of all partners, in the Smart Village Network Project Bid

Who can apply?

The Smart Village Network Project (SVNP) welcomes project proposals from organisations that are located within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and specifically within these target rural areas:

  • Derg DEA rural wards of Finn, Sion Mills, Newtownstewart, Glenderg, and Castlederg.
  • Faughan DEA rural wards of Eglinton, Claudy, Slievekirk, Enagh and Newbuildings.
  • Sperrin DEA rural wards of Glenelly Valley, Park, Donemana and Artigarvan

And can meet all the following criteria

  • Provide both a broad-based Community Development Programme and encourage general community participation with clear community benefit.
  • Promote equality of opportunity and good relations including Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. 
  • Have reasonable accessibility for people with disabilities. 
  • Have identified one or more spaces suitable for adaption as a digital hub/co-working space.
  • Have adequate kitchen facilities and toilet provision OR have identified a suitable internal space to accommodate this in future.
  • Have relevant statutory approvals (anything that requires planning permission beyond minor works is unlikely to be successful).
  • Project proposals clearly linked to key local drivers of need specific to your area, aligned to but not limited to addressing the issues identified within the Local Growth Plans.
  • Project proposals clearly linked to the key themes of this programme: Rural Connectivity, Digital Transformation and Green Transition

Stakeholders can come from any sector or organisation but note consideration will only be given to those projects which benefit the wider community. Council welcomes collaborative applications provided they meet all the above criteria and are submitted as one joint application.

Who cannot apply?
The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Project proposals that do not directly and broadly benefit Derry City and Strabane District Council residents.
  • Project proposals which are not located specifically within the target rural areas detailed in the Guidance notes
  • Project proposals related to the promotion of religious or political interests.
  • Project proposals already funded or within the scope of the council’s responsibility and projects that are clearly the responsibility of another statutory body.
  • Project proposals that improve or benefit privately owned land that has no or significantly restricted public access.
  • Project Proposals whose primary objective is to raise money for charity or for profit.
  • Project proposals already funded through existing or future PEACEPLUS projects.
  • Project proposals that won’t be fully operational before March 2025.
  • Further details on eligibility criteria are available in the Guidance notes

How to Apply

To apply, you must attend one of the pre-application workshops on 19 or 20 September 2023 (see full schedule in Table 1.1 above). Your application form must be completed in full and submitted via email to [email protected] by 12:00 noon on 19 October 2023. Late applications will not be accepted. 

Smart Village Network Project Contact details: email: [email protected] alternatively call Business Officer Maria McKeever on 02871253253 ext 6667

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