The Framework of Regional Priorities

Presenting a strategic response that is unique and tailored to the assets and characteristics of the Central Border Region.


The border region on the island of Ireland is meeting some of its greatest challenges for a generation: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate disruption, and the exit of the UK from the European Union.

These have given rise to a developing conversation across the border region about how these might impact on future joint working. Amid current uncertainties and political differences, there remains a widely held commitment across local authorities, border communities and other community/voluntary groups within the region to continue working together, to preserve the gains already achieved and to realise potential benefits for future generations.

Cross–border cooperation takes on a new symbolic and practical significance in this new geo–political environment. It is important therefore to think in terms of mutual benefit and collaboration, rather than competition and divergence.

Stakeholders in the Central Border Region can do this by building on existing relationships, and helping realise the ambitions which are set out within this Framework document for the period 2021–2027.

The Framework presents a strategic response that is both unique and tailored to the assets and characteristics of this particular region. In working together to advance the regional priorities, the Central Border area can become a thriving, resilient, vibrant, and diversified region. This can be achieved through delivering on key strategic priorities:

  • in utilising our regional strengths and assets,
  • in supporting economic development,
  • in enhancing citizens’ quality of life,
  • in making greater use of connections and remote working,
  • and in developing our tourism offering.

The Framework of Regional Priorities for the Central Border Region 2021-27′ is available to download from the ICBAN Library.

A Synopsis version is also available.

Virtual Launch Event –  March 2021

The virtual launch event was held on 24th March 2021. A recording of the event can be accessed here. 

The presentations from the launch can be found in the ICBAN Library:



QUB Students complete their Internships and Briefing Papers with ICBAN – 2021 / 2022

Three post-graduate students from Queen’s University Belfast have completed their internships with ICBAN, focusing on projects to aid delivery of the FRP strategy. As part of their assignments, the students carried out research and completed briefing papers on their specific interests. The papers will be invaluable in shaping implementation of the Framework of Regional Priorities.

Post-graduate student, Ms. Laura Sierociuk has recently completed her internship with ICBAN. Laura, who is originally from Poland, is currently a MA student on the Global Security and Borders Programme with Queen’s University Belfast and will graduate in December 2022. Her internship included producing a paper on ‘The Ulster Canal Regeneration Project: Reimagining the Central Border Region’s Tourism Infrastructure. The methodology included desk research, identifying a number of relevant best practice examples, and a series of interviews with key stakeholders.

The study examined a number of key themes in relation to the ongoing development of the Ulster Canal, whilst exploring the opportunities and benefits of the development for the wider region.

ICBAN commends Laura on her completed work, especially given that she had little prior knowledge or first-hand experience of the area. The FRP Sub-Committee Co-Chairs Councillor Gary Doherty and Councillor Eamon McNeill thanked Laura for her research paper and stated that it will be invaluable in helping to promote the case for the further development of the Ulster Canal, to the betterment of the Central Border Region.

Callahan Moore, who is originally from the United States, completed her internship with a paper on ‘Farm to Fork:  Strengthening and Developing Agri-Food Initiatives in the Central Border Region’. The research completed included desk research, identifying a number of relevant best practice examples, and a series of interviews with key stakeholders across the region. The research found that the area boasts a strong agri-food sector, with a variety of promising initiatives designed to boost consumption of local agri-food products and strengthen agri-food tourism. The best practice examples, discussion of interviews and analysis of findings have informed the recommendations included, which are intended to assist in further strengthening and developing this sector.

Duncan Steel from Scotland completed his briefing paper on the ‘Implications of Brexit for ICBAN’s ‘Framework of Regional Priorities for the Central Border Region, 2021-2027’ strategy document’ and he presented his findings to the ICBAN Management Board.


Year 1 Progress Review

ICBAN has produced a Year 1 Progress Review of ‘The Framework of Regional Priorities’ strategy document. This update is in keeping with our pledge to be open and transparent with regard to delivery of the Framework and its ambitions. Updates are provided here across the key Pillars / Themes of the strategy, on the Emergent Catalyst Projects, a range of developing projects and other initiatives, and various cross-cutting outputs and impacts across the thematic areas. The document can be accessed here.