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27 Jan 2022

New and exciting training programme for communities across Inishowen is about to begin

Inishowen to be among the first cohort in Ireland to benefit from Smart Village Training

New and exciting training programme for communities across Inishowen is about to begin

A new and exciting training programme for communities across Inishowen is about to begin

A new and exciting training programme for communities across Inishowen is about to begin, it has been confirmed.

Smart Villages is a national programme that has been commissioned by sixteen local development companies from around the country and is being delivered under LEADER in 2022.

Smart Villages are communities in rural areas that use innovative solutions to improve their resilience, building on local strengths and opportunities.

The Smart Village Curriculum compiled by eTownz, is a modular and pragmatic approach to local development, where the town creates an interactive register for its local Assets, Stakeholders, Goals, Projects and Metrics.

CEO of eTownz, Pat Kennedy said: “The Smart Village approach seeks to bring together local knowledge and digital tools to empower local communities”.

Áine McLaughlin, Project Worker at Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) explains: “This free training will consist of six 90-minute online sessions, facilitated by Carlene Lyttle. Each session will introduce a new key topic, which will guide participants through the process of creating a “Smart Village Plan” for their area.

“The training will be delivered on a staged basis in various locations around the peninsula, and we are pleased to announce that the first area we are delivering the Smart Villages Training for is Clonmany, Cloontagh, Ballyliffin, Urris, Rashenny and environs and will begin on Monday 7th February at 10.00am via Zoom”.

A Smart Village plan will be created for each area with the objective that when all areas have been completed, we will be able to weave relevant data from each plan together to build capacity for the area and to further strengthen the Inishowen brand, which will enable our communities to access many opportunities, including funding from the EU and government initiatives.

The ENRD (European Network for Rural Development), which oversees LEADER funding has determined that all future grant funding must align with the concepts of “Smart Villages”. Once the plan for each area has been prepared, it will be reviewed annually in a consultative and inclusive manner by all local stakeholders.

Denise McCool, Community Development Officer at IDP said: “It is really exciting and is complementary to the work we have already carried out under our EnVision series, where individuals from within smaller communities in Inishowen will be able do a deep-dive into their local area and spotlight the many wonderful elements that make it a great place to live and to highlight any gaps which need addressed.

“It will offer the opportunity to collaborate and plan for new projects that will be beneficial to their own area but also on a peninsula-wide basis”.

Andrew Ward, Joint CEO of IDP concluded: “We are delighted to have recruitment for this training underway in the Clonmany and eEnviron area and we would encourage anyone with an interest in improving your local area to jump in and get involved!

“We believe it will enable greater collaboration and communication between villages, towns and local organisations such as IDP and Donegal County Council and it will help discover symbiotic relationships by working with people who have similar interests and skills complimentary to implementing the Smart Village plan”.

If you are interested in becoming a trained Smart Village Champion, register your interest now via: training.etownz.ie/inishowen/ or contact Áine for further enquiries on Tel: (074) 9362218/086 1028846 or email aine@inishowen.ie

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