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PEACEPLUS funding boost to help unlock North-South and East-West potential

Posted On: 08 Jul 2024

North-South

 

(Published with the kind permission of the Special EU Programmes Body)

Building partnerships and collaboration across a range of key sectors and organisations in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain has received a significant boost as a result of a €1.4m (£1.2m) PEACEPLUS investment by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

The funding has been awarded under the PEACEPLUS investment theme ‘Building and Embedding Partnership and Collaboration’, which is aimed at capitalising on working relationships between Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as growing East-West links.

The funding will help address administrative issues that could arise through differing legislation across jurisdictions, exploring strategic opportunities to collaborate, therefore increasing connectivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

The three projects set to benefit from the first round of PEACEPLUS funding are:

  • Developing Irish Sea Cooperation – DISC: Led by Southern Regional Assembly. The long-term goal of the project is to promote peace and reconciliation through laying the foundations for North-South and East-West cross-border economic and social territorial development.
  • S2@25 – Capturing and transferring the knowledge of Cross Border implementation bodies for improved cooperation and cooperation governance: Led by Centre for Cross Border Studies. The overall objective of this two-year project is to record and reflect on the collective impacts of the implementation bodies established under Strand 2 of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and identify how they could further contribute to addressing longer-term challenges and priorities shared across the island of Ireland.
  • Voices for Impact: Led by Bytes. The project will enable children, young people, and local and regional youth organisations to lead conversations about what needs are emerging and support them to better identify common concerns and collectively design new solutions by leveraging digital innovation.

SEUPB Chief Executive, Gina McIntyre, said: “This funding provides an amazing opportunity to address and overcome challenges to future economic prosperity and growth both North-South, and East-West. These diverse projects will bring wide-ranging interventions and improvements aimed at unlocking the huge potential that exists from greater collaboration at an administrative and statutory level on these islands. I am looking forward to this important work getting under way for the benefit of so many of our citizens and I am very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Significant further funding rounds from this PEACEPLUS theme will open in the autumn and will focus on areas such as cross-border collaboration, service provision, air quality, risk management, and joined-up working.

The PEACEPLUS Programme has been designed to promote peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, and has a total value of €1.14bn, to be delivered over the next five years. The Programme will support a wide range of sectors, including health and social care, the protection of the environment, rural regeneration, smart towns and villages, local regeneration and mental health services.

PEACEPLUS is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and represents a funding partnership between the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive.