East Border Region share views on N.I Regional Development and R.O.I. National Spatial Strategies

25 June 2009

East Border Region Ltd held its quarterly Members Forum meeting on Thursday 25th June in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry. Special guests at the meeting were Mr Mike Thompson, Department for Regional Development N.I. and Mr Niall Cussen, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government R.O.I. East Border Region is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross-border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

During the meeting which was attended by over 50 Elected Members department representatives briefed members on the current status of both areas spatial strategies and of connectivity and synergies between the two strategies.

During his presentation Mr Thompson highlighted the emphasis of the Regional Development Strategy in supporting rural towns, villages and communities and in strengthening north, south and east, west links.

Mr Cussen stated that the National Spatial Strategy is a robust 20 year strategy that is currently being updated to focus on key issues. “The potential is there for greater co-ordination on spatial planning on the island, Northwest Gateway, Newry – Dundalk and Central Border Region”. He concluded that spatial planning is even more important in a downturn with there being more opportunities to renew and update frameworks.

EBR Vice Chairman Cllr Gerard Mallon thanked both speakers for their presentations and stated the renewed importance in the current economic situation of promoting good co-ordination between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Pictured left to right: Mr Mike Thompson, Dept of Regional Development N.I., Mr Jim Hetherington, Dept of Regional Development, Cllr John Hanna, Chairman EBR and Mr Niall Cussen, Dept of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, R.O.I.

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