The need for a cross border partnership was identified by local authorities within the Central Border Region in the early 1990s which led to the formal establishment of the Irish Central Border Area Network or ICBAN in 1995. ICBAN was founded to promote cross-border co-operation and communication at a Local Government level on common regional development concerns. This provided a forum to respond to the unique economic and social needs of the Central Border Region.

The eight Member Councils areas of the Central Border Region are Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Fermanagh and Omagh; Mid Ulster and the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, and Sligo. Many of these areas share similar geographical, economic, social, administrative and political characteristics.

The Councils of the Central Border Region experience common problems and concerns: a need to re-enforce and expand infrastructure, a sense of distance from centralised decision-making, a perceived peripherality from each jurisdiction, in addition to the peripherality in an EU context, which is experienced by the island, as a whole.

ICBAN’s role is to help address these challenges and does so by facilitating Local Government and key stakeholders in the development of the Central Border Region; coordinating economic and social development working; capacity building of elected representatives; support of cross-border co-operation and promotion of our Region.