News

East Border Region host Strategic Planning Conference

4 November 2011

East Border Region hosted a very successful 2 day Strategic Planning Conference on 3rd and 4th November 2011 in the Fairways Hotel, Dundalk. Almost 60 Elected Members covering the ten Local Authorities which East Border Region represents attended the conference which looked at the Organisations development and future strategic direction.

East Border Region is part funded through the European Union's INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme; the Organisation is currently implementing a range of projects across the INTERREG theme of Collaboration. A number of projects under the themes of Enterprise and Tourism have just recently been approved which EBR will be delighted to get off the ground in January 2012.

During the first day of the Conference Members took a look back at the achievements and the challenges the Organisation has faced over the past number of years. In addition a very informative panel session was hosted entitled "Sharing Cross Border Perspectives". This panel included EBR Members from various Local Authorities - North and South, newly appointed Members and stalwarts of EBR. Members also heard presentations from Mr Derek McCallan, CEO of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) on their role within the Cross Border arena and on future working with EBR.

On Day two Ms Mary Bunting, Joint Secretary of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and Mr Sean Howlett (NSMC) presented Members with a detailed overview of the role and remit of the Joint Council and their capabilities to work with EBR in relation to future planning.  

Members also learned of the work of other Cross Border Bodies during the conference through presentations from Mr Paddy Savage of Intertrade Ireland and Mr Barry Fox of the Loughs Agency. During the latter half of day two Members took a detailed look at the preliminary plans for the roll out of INTERREG V. This session was facilitated by Mr Colin Stutt of Colin Stutt Consulting and was extremely informative and useful for Members.

Chairman of EBR Alderman Arnold Hatch welcomed the two day event, "this has been an excellent conference for the Members of EBR both newly appointed and those of us who have been Members for many years. Although we are only really getting started on our INTERREG IVA Projects now is the time to get ahead of the game and feed into the consultation process for INTERREG V. This conference has given us the ability to set out our Agenda going forward and I look forward with rigour to working with my colleagues in order to ensure an active role for EBR going forward". 

The conference drew to a close on Friday afternoon after a successful and informative two days.

Pictured Above: Mr P Savage Intertrade Ireland, Mr B Fox Loughs Agency, Mr S McAteer, Ms M Bunting & Mr S Howlett North South Ministerial Council and Alderman Arnold Hatch EBR Chairman.

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