Training and Capacity Building

ICLRD has developed tailored executive training programmes for council officials, elected representatives and the private sector that address regional and local issues and assist both local government and the business community to engage effectively in the spatial planning for their region. ICLRD and the participating councils work closely together to develop the focus and the themes of the training programmes. The four programmes summarized below are offered as part of ICLRD’s CroSPlaN initiative funded under INTERREG IVA, administered by SEUPB.

Executive Training and Animation Programme

September 2013 – Present
This 10 module programme will improve the quality of cross-border cooperation and provide a critical forum to bring together cross-border councils, selected cross-border bodies and central government departments to support joint solutions supported by collaborative agreements. Participants in this training programme include local authorities from the North West Region Cross Border Group, the Irish Central Border Area Network, and East Border Region Ltd.
Expected outcomes of this programme for the delegates include:

  • A better understanding of the reform agendas as they apply to both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland – and the implications of this for cross-border cooperation;
  • A dedicated window to change management, and the associated implications of the new / evolving functions and responsibilities of local government;
  • A collegial space for peer-to-peer exchange of information and ideas;
    Mentoring and supports to assist in the development of joint ideas / themes into actionable programmes of activity; and
  • A raised awareness of the opportunities for co-operative working on an intra- and inter-jurisdictional basis – and the potential for shared service agendas.


ICBAN Region Training Programme

October 2011 – December 2012
This six module-training programme is helping local governments in this cross-border region to identify potential shared services, promote regional cooperation and support the ICBAN Spatial Planning Initiative. The training programme is engaging senior officials from each of the ten Councils to research and refine local and regional development issues for the ICBAN cross border region as well as activities linked to the spatial planning initiative.
The Programme will be delivered through the following modules:

  • Understanding the ICBAN Sub-Region: Your Role in Harnessing its Potential
  • Spatial Planning and Management in the ICBAN Sub- Region – Evidence, Development and Models of Collaboration
  • Opportunities for Implementing a Shared Services Agenda
  • Community Enabling – Marrying Bottom-Up Needs with Top-Down Constraints
  • Collective Leadership – Building Consensus and Achieving an Identity
  • Synthesis–Pulling it all together!


Northwest Training Programme

October 2010 – June 2011
Working primarily with Donegal County Council, the Derry City Council, the ILEX Regeneration Company and representatives of the Strabane and Limavady District Councils this programme focused on the theme of Fostering Growth through Cooperation in the Northwest Region. It took place over six modules with interventions from expert speakers from government, academia and the private sector, from both sides of the border.
The programme drew particular attention to the themes of cross-border collaboration, leadership and institutional arrangements in achieving collaboration, city of culture and the role of culture in regeneration, cross-border enterprise and skills strategies, and the green economy and sustainable energies. The programme was organized around the following modules:

  • Module 1: City Regions, Functional Territories and the North-West Region
  • Module 2: Leadership and Institutional Arrangements in Achieving Collaboration
  • Module 3: Culture as a shared resource in the North-West
  • Module 4: Challenges and maximising opportunities in the cross-border economy
  • Module 5: Maximising opportunities from the Green Economy in the North West
  • Module 6: Synthesis

This Programme has led to a deeper understanding of the latent potential of the North West Region, and agreement on how all the partners can work together, led by a Strategic Partnership Board.

The materials introduced through the modules and ideas generated through discussions have been incorporated into new cross-border initiatives in the NW region including cross-border activities associated with the Donegal County Development Plan, the NW Partnership Board, and the ‘One Plan for Derry-Londonderry’.

The ICLRD is continuing to provide support and technical assistance to Donegal County Council, Derry City Council and ILEX in developing a work programme for the Board and identifying priority areas of action.


Newry/Dundalk Twin City Region Training Programme

November 2009 –May 2010
Building on a previous ICLRD initiative – The Newry-Dundalk Twin City Region: Supporting the Implementation of Cross-Border Collaborative Frameworks (January 2009) ICLRD organised a programme for council officials, councillors and private sector representatives from Newry and Mourne District Council, Louth Local Authorities, and Down District Council. Programme modules included:

  • Module 1: Development Corridors and the Newry-Dundalk Twin-City Region
  • Module 2: Evidenced Informed Planning
  • Module 3: A Sustainable Economy in the Twin-City Region
  • Module 4: Engaging the Community in Shaping and Delivering Local Strategies
  • Module 5: Bringing Together an Action Agenda

The Newry–Dundalk training programme was the first to be completed. The outcome has been the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the participant Councils. This has been acknowledged by the EU as a best practice outcome leading to further mutual support on tourism, green energy and economic development projects.