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Ireland, United Kingdom

Operational Programme 'Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland'

Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

On 6 November 2007, the European Commission approved a European Cross-border Cooperation Programme between Ireland and the United Kingdom for the 2007-13 period.

The “Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland” Cross-border Cooperation Programme involves Community support for the following eight regions: (1) the Border Region of Ireland; (2) East of Northern Ireland; (3) North of Northern Ireland; (4) West and South of Northern Ireland; (5) Dumfries and Galloway; (6) East Ayrshire; (7) North Ayrshire mainland; and (8) South Ayrshire – as well as for the regions of Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Arran and Cumbrae and Argyll and Bute. The regions Belfast, Outer Belfast and Eilean Siar (Western Isles), in the United Kingdom, can participate in the projects as adjacent areas receiving a maximum of 20% of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support allocated to the Programme.

The Cross-border Cooperation Programme falls within the European Territorial Cooperation Objective framework and has a total budget of around €256 million. Community investment through the ERDF amounts to some €192 million.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

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The overall programme objective is to support strategic cross-border cooperation for a more prosperous and sustainable region. Emphasis will be placed upon developing a dynamic economy and supporting cross-border infrastructure; as well as to improve access to services – with the goal to improve the quality of life for those living in the eligible region.

The programme strategy will address the economic and social problems that have been exacerbated by the existence of land and maritime borders, which aim to promote greater territorial cohesion. Cross-border cooperation will support the delivery of more balanced regional development, promote economic change, strengthen competitiveness, improve access and services to facilities, ensure better value for money and address the negative effects of the border.

2. Expected impact of investments

The adopted programme is the third in a consecutive series of Cross-border Cooperation Programmes between Ireland and Northern Ireland. For the first time the maritime border between Ireland and Scotland is included and, thereby, increases the possibilities of cooperation while broadening the scope of joint actions that build on the existing historical, cultural and economic links.

A series of indicators, applicable to each of the programme priorities, will permit the evaluation of the output and programme results.

3. Priorities

The “Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland” Operational Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Cooperation for a more prosperous cross-border region [approximately 39.3% of total funding]

This priority will focus on two key areas: enterprise and tourism. The first area aims to diversify and develop the economy of the eligible region, by encouraging innovation and competitiveness in enterprise and business development. The second will promote tourism.

Priority 2: Cooperation for a sustainable cross-border region [approximately 54.7% of total funding]

This priority will focus on two key areas: collaboration and infrastructure. Each area aims to provide better access to services to improve the quality of life of those living in the eligible area.

Priority 3: Technical assistance [approximately 6.0% of total funding]

The overall objective of this priority is to support the management, evaluation and monitoring of the programme.

4. Managing Authority

The Special European Union Programmes Body
7th Floor, The Clarence West Building
2 Clarence Street West
UK-BT2 7GP Belfast
Chief Executive
Pat, Colgan
Tel.: +44 (0)28 9026 6660
Fax.: +44 (0)28 9026 6692
E-mail.: info@seupb.eu

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007CB163PO047

Number of decision : C/2007/5304 final

Final approval date : 2007-11-06

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Cooperation for a more prosperous cross-border region 75 502 500 25 167 500 100 670 000
Cooperation for a sustainable cross-border region 104 999 866 34 999 956 139 999 822
Technical assistance 11 520 000 3 840 000 15 360 000
Total 192 022 366 64 007 456 256 029 822
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