The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) have today (Wednesday) welcomed the launch of ‘Innovating Communities’, a new innovative training programme for Communities in the Border and North West Region by Minister for Social Protection, Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys TD. The project is funded under the LEADER Cooperation element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and is the first of its kind in the Border region. Six member Companies of the ILDN are behind the project led by Monaghan Integrated Development CLG and includes Louth LEADER Partnership CLG, Leitrim Integrated Development Company CLG, County Sligo LEADER Partnership Company CLG, Donegal Local Development CLG and Breffni Integrated Development CLG.

Innovating Communities is a training programme aimed at creating and encouraging a rural population that is open to new ideas and ways of working. The project will employ Design Thinking, a process that puts people at the heart of decision making and ideating, while rethinking how we solve problems. The training will meet current challenges while building capabilities to cope in future by adopting new techniques and increasing problem solving and confidence in local communities and business.

A total of 102 training courses, with 900 participants, will be delivered across the 6 regions over the 2.5 year project period. 12 LEADER Learning Labs (2 per area) will be developed as part of this project and when safe, these will serve as local project delivery spaces and stand as legacy of the project.