ICBAN recently commenced delivery of a new project to support capacity building for stakeholders in the Central Border Region. The Border Animator project has been enabled through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund.

The project includes a modular programme of capacity building and animation. The programme will cover leadership in cross-border cooperation, maximising lessons from other border regions, and place-making . Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on gatherings and face-to-face meetings at this time, the programme sessions will be delivered online by project partner, the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD). The sessions will include a mix of formal presentations and interactive participation. The content has been designed with the needs of the ICBAN Management Board especially in mind.

The programme is happening during what is a very challenged geo-political context – not least shaped by the out-workings of Brexit, the climate emergency, changing demographics and, more recently, the public health emergency resulting from Covid-19, and the expectations that this will lead to a global economic slowdown – if not, a deep recession.  In this context, it is of vital importance that bodies such as ICBAN, acting in the interests of the eight member Councils, have a clear understanding of regional strengths and asset-bases, and agree how these can be effectively utilised, to both inform and nourish a model of sustainable regional development.