East Border Region Initiative in running for top Northern Ireland Local Government Awards

7 January 2009

The East Border Region ‘’ initiative has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards at this year’s Northern Ireland Local Government Awards. The online facility is short-listed in the categories of ‘Best Joint Initiative between Council’s and the ‘Award for Sustainable Development project’. This innovative cross border project has been part financed by the European Union through the INTERREG IIIA Programme which is managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the East Border Region INTERREG IIIA Partnership.

This represents a major endorsement for the work of the scheme, piloted by the East Border Region since June 2008, which acts as a one-stop reference guide for businesses and members of the public trying to navigate their way around issues such as planning, building and environmental regulation and legislation.

Welcoming the news, Councillor Jackie Crowe, Chairman of the East Border Region INTERREG IIIA Partnership said:

“These nominations represent a fantastic endorsement for the East Border Region and the project and all the work that has gone into the initiative. It is our aim to continue promoting the need for more sustainable development across cross-border regions in Ireland and provide an example of the cooperation between Government, local authorities and businesses in providing people with viable access to planning, building and environmental knowledge.”

Expressing his delight at being short-listed for the awards Joseph Birt, Project Co-ordinator for Project said:

“To be nominated for these awards gives us great pride and motivation that the service provides has been recognised and received. It offers great motivation to all involved with the project in continuing to offer a source of guidance and help to people who require support with planning and development needs. We hope that the site will continue to be a vital tool to businesses and the general public on both sides of the border.”

When the pilot project was announced in June 2008, it was created to act as a one-stop shop that brings together all aspects of planning, building and sustainability. The facility acts as a guide through legislation and provides a necessary step by step approach to benefit everyone, ranging from people looking to build a new home or extend an existing one to companies looking to relocate offices and make their organisations more eco-friendly.

Included in the site is up-to-date information on sustainable design, construction methods, best practice guides for renewable technologies and energy saving. It is also intended to act as a resource to encourage and attract local inward investment into the East Border Region, identifying suitable business premises and office accommodation that already exists and provides clear and concise advice on how businesses can take a more sustainable approach and make them more environmentally conscious. provides people with a list of local architects, builders, developers and other suppliers as well as offering guidance through the planning and building control process. The website is easy to use with video case lectures, audio advice, interactive areas and advisers for each of the six key government agencies giving information via downloadable video.

The East Border Region is one of three local authority led cross border networks on the Ireland/Northern Ireland border. The East Border Region Committee comprises ten local authorities, Newry and Mourne, Down and Banbridge District Councils, Armagh City and District Council, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Borough Councils in Northern Ireland and Louth, Monaghan and Meath County Councils in the Republic Of Ireland and contains a population of 826,000.

The Committee was established in 1976 to promote innovative, cross border economic development in the areas of agriculture, Industry, Commerce and Tourism and to improve the living conditions and employment prospects of those living in the region.

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For all media enquiries please contact Ross Williamson or David Lawlor at Inform Communications 028 90 233550 or mobile 07734821070 (Ross) or xxxxx (David)

  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council