Boost for Creative Industries in the Border Region

Harnessing Creativity is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Calling all creative enterprises in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim & throughout the region.


Monday April 22nd is the deadline for those wishing to avail of a unique opportunity to collaborate with other creative and mainstream businesses, in order to develop products, woo investors, forge new contacts and get advice from experts.


The Creative Labs is the initial phase of the new Harnessing Creativity Project, which has received €799,880 through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).  The Cross-Border Project will be delivered by Leitrim County Enterprise Board in partnership with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN), Leitrim County Council, Fermanagh District Council, Omagh Enterprise Agency, Tyrone Donegal Partnership and the Leitrim Design House.  


The Project Partners are working together in supporting the programme which they believe will exploit the wealth of creative and artistic talent in Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim and the wider region.  The Harnessing Creativity project runs until May 2015 and is expected to benefit 200 creative businesses and 100 practitioners from the broader economy over the next two years.


Businesses who wish to participate in the Creative Labs phase of the Harnessing Creativity project have until April 22nd to apply.  Speaking about this unique opportunity, Coordinator Anna Marie O’Rourke said; “the Creative Labs will be facilitated by mentors who are experts in their area. Participants will include artists, designers, film and digital media practitioners, writers, furniture makers, animators, engineers, architects, fashion designers, photographers, and others working in Leitrim, Fermanagh, Tyrone and surrounding counties. 

“We hope to see practitioners from the creative sector working with each other, or with other businesses.” She explained.


Those businesses taking part in the Creative Labs will be able to avail of specialist mentoring, and opportunities to share expertise, up-skill and showcase their work.  Creative Business participants will also be able to avail of a budget of €1,500 to fund expenses such as specialist equipment, materials or workspace.  From the applications received, thirty creative companies and 15 mainstream businesses will be selected to take part in the three creative labs which will start in early May in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim.  


Creative Labs will happen in 3 regions (Leitrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone) over 8 days to bring people from various creative backgrounds including craft, dance, theatre into a workshop environment to explore how they may be able to collaborate, make connections, rethink ideas and develop new ways of working with businesses in the region. 


Workshops 6 to 8 will assist co-creation groups to plan and work together around concepts to develop them for a regional showcase exhibition taking place in September 2013. This exhibition will travel to galleries outside of the region later this year.


Joe Lowe, CEO of  Leitrim County  Enterprise Board pointed out that this project, together with the opening of a  €1.2m Technology Enterprise Centre in Carrick on Shannon during the summer, will provide a significant boost for those already working in the creative sector.


Participants in the Creative Labs should have two years’ experience in business.  Applicants are asked to submit a short CV or one-page professional profile, with three examples of their work (web links or image files with brief explanatory texts) outlining why they want to take part and the opportunities for collaboration within their business.


Completed applications should be sent by email to [email protected], with the subject heading “HC Creative Labs 2013” by Monday 22nd April 2013.


If you would like further information on the Creative Labs or on the Harnessing creativity Project, please contact Arlene.




Notes to Editor

  • The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland.  It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.  The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.
  • The INTERREG IVA Programme, funded under the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF), is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.  It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region.
  • The Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) Ltd, the local government cross-border grouping which members are the Councils of Omagh District, Cookstown District, Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough, Armagh City & District, Fermanagh, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan. It 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. Its purpose is to establish complementary processes at a sub-regional level which can support national policies and give meaning to them in terms of sub-regional cross-border development. 


Last updated 6 years 11 months ago