Innovating communities

Upcoming Leitrim launch of new training programme

news reporter


news reporter

Innovative new training programme aims to enhance creativity among people, communities and  businesses in Leitrim

An new training programme, Innovating Communities, designed to enhance creativity among people, communities and businesses in Leitrim has been launched across the Border region by Minister Heather Humphreys TD.

The Leitrim launch of this project will take place online at 3pm on Friday, March 12 which will give people a good perspective of this Innovating Communities Programme (ICP) and the exciting benefits it will bring to communities, projects and activities in Leitrim.

“The programme will give local groups and individuals a deep understanding of the value of design thinking in dealing with many of today’s social, economic and environmental challenges and for the opportunities in these areas for our communities,” stated Brian Smyth of the Leitrim Development Company.

“We are teaming up with the Local Development Companies in Sligo, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth to deliver this training along the border. The training focuses on helping people to face challenges and find solutions to them and it will energise and mobilise people in Leitrim to adopt new ideas and ways of working”.

A total of 102 training modules will be delivered across all these six counties over the next two years.

“This will result in over 150 participants from Leitrim being trained over the course of the project with a combination of online and face to face training and also one to one mentoring.

“This approach using Design Thinking is proven in other countries in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or difficult to solve, by understanding the human needs involved, by reframing the issue, project or problem in practical ways, by creating many ideas through brain-storming and by adopting a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing solutions.

“Many of today’s problems can have a positive flip side if approached creatively, often leading to unforeseen opportunities for communities and individuals and businesses”.

Icecream Architecture, a Scottish based company specialising in Design Thinking training will work with Leitrim Development Company to roll out this programme in Leitrim and the other five counties.

“The opportunity to explore and develop the ‘nature of rural innovation’ and how it can best be stimulated and supported in the southern border area has great potential.

“The pace of change and challenges for us all has increased recently with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on how we all interact and work and also the uncertainty and changes with Brexit on our county and region gives us the need for a rapid recovery and change to build in confidence new approaches and resilience for our all our futures,” added Brian.

Leitrim Development Company is encouraging community groups, volunteers, businesses and individuals who are active and interested in areas such as community/ rural development, integration, the environment, the arts and heritage to register their interest at

This training is free and the initiative is being funded by the LEADER Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

For more information you can also contact Brian Smyth at or on 087 4116626.