Cathaoirleach praises signing of updated memorandum of understanding as ‘significant’

CATHAOIRLEACH of Donegal County Council has praised the signing of the updated education memorandum of understanding (MOU) as an important cross-border step forward for the north west.

Cllr Martin Harley was one of a number of delegates at a meeting of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership at An Grianan Hotel in Burt.

Welcoming the signing of the updated MOU, he said: “The signing of the updated MOU formalises the existing strong working relationship between the four institutions to work together to enhance opportunities for students in research, innovation, education and training. Through this collaborative approach they can ensure the student pathway is enhanced to provide a quality further and higher education experience for all.”


Cllr Harley said it was also important that “we acknowledge the achievements of these partnerships and the fund and how since 2016 we have been working collectively as a unique partnership to support the region’s commitment to growth”.

He said: “I am proud of what we have achieved since this time and the leadership role we have taken to ensure there is a joined-up approach to everything that we do. It is important that we continue to focus on a collaborative cross border vision for the region in terms of spatial planning, transport connectivity, education provision and green transformation.”

John G. McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council reiterated how collaboration is key to successfully develop a City Region that is thriving, sustainable and prosperous.

The winter plenary session celebrated and raised awareness of the hugely important work of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership, the North West Development Group and the North West Development Fund.

The high-level meeting was held between senior Government officials from both the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government and civic leaders and partners and officials from Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council.

A key element of the meeting was the launch of the North West Tertiary Education Cluster’s Memorandum of Understanding, showcasing the important vision of further and higher level education provision in the North West. This unique and innovative partnership between ATU, Ulster University, the NWRC and Donegal ETB assists with the growth of third level education places across the region. It emanates from the strong cross-border working relationship over the years and the excellent work done to develop each institution’s capacities to achieve their respective missions through enhanced cooperation.

Members attending the meeting received a comprehensive overview on the achievements of the North West Strategic Partnership and the positive impact it has on the North West City Region.


Delegates were also given the opportunity to hear at first-hand about the joint cross border Colmcille Arts and Culture Project from Donegal County Council project officer, Deirdre Harte.

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