City Led Regional Development and Peripheral Regions – Register Now 

mailchimp WDC

The Western Development Commission is delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Regional Studies Association-Irish Branch Annual Conference, together with IT Sligo and the Northern & Western Regional Assembly. 

The theme is “City Led Regional Development and Peripheral Regions”. Speakers will examine how urban areas interact with their rural regions and whether the development of the city or urban area leads to wider development.  The conference takes place at the Institute of Technology Sligo on Friday 7th September. Register here.

Two international experts, Dr Andrew Copus from the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and Professor Mark Partridge, the C. William Swank Chair of Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University, will present other countries’ experience on this theme and stimulate debate about the reality of “city led development”.

Issues in Ireland will be examined in other sessions focusing on the history of Irish planning, the development of regional strategies, the trickle-down effects of urban centres and what regional accounts can tell us about our regional economies. Academics from MU, UL, DCU, DIT and UCC will be joined by policymakers from the WDC, NWRA and IDA Ireland.

With the draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies of Project Ireland 2040 soon to be issued for public consultation, this conference offers a great opportunity to debate the future of regional development in Ireland.

Detailed Conference Information can be accessed here (including speaker bios, directions, and accommodation).

Register here for the conference (€70 including lunch) and come along and join in the debate.

Innovation Voucher Clinic – Would you like €5,000 from Enterprise Ireland?


The Contract Research Unit (CRU) and Precision Engineering and Manufacturing (PEM) are running Innovation Voucher Clinic’s in Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan. These clinics are designed to provide support to SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) throughout the region.

Please find a list of the Innovation Voucher Clinic locations below and links to Eventbrite for registration.

Innovation Centre, IT Sligo, Co. Sligo – 10th May 2018

The Hive, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim – 15th May 2018

Údarás na Gaeltachta, Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair Gweedore, Co. Donegal – 16th May 2018

Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC) Co. Cavan – 17th May 2018

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Contract Research Unit (CRU)

Tel: 071 93 05825


The Western Development Commission launches their Local Energy Communities (LECo) project in IT Sligo


The Western Development Commission launched their Local Energy Communities (LECo) project in IT Sligo on Friday April 6th. The launch was combined with a community energy awareness day. LECo is funded by the NPA programme with partners in Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The goal is to combine new innovative technologies with locally available natural resources, and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and identify possibilities to use renewable energy.

The event was organised and Chaired by Dr Orla Nic Suibhne from the Western Development Commission, and the speakers included:

  • Paul Kenny CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency
  • Ruth Buggie Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Programme Manger with SEAI
  • Pauline Leonard GREBE Project Coordinator Western Development Commission
  • Mel Gavin R&D Coordinator IT Sligo
  • Aisling Nic Aoidh LECo Project Officer Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Martin Keating Mayo County Council’s Climate Change Regional Office

At the event, Ruth Buggie from SEAI announced details of a new grant programme specifically designed for communities within the SEC network. This new programme will go live mid April 2018 and aims to develop community skills to a level where they can manage their own capital projects, lead small to medium scale project in their own communities, build and maintain energy awareness and knowledge locally, and also provide funding for small scale demonstration projects to showcase innovative energy solutions. There is €3m available for this new funding programme for communities  in 2018.

Further details are available at:


CREST: Supporting businesses in renewable energy & sustainable technologies

CREST image 25-01-2016

The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) is an exciting adventure that has been set up to help small businesses in Northern Ireland, the Irish border counties and Western Scotland to develop and adopt renewable energy and sustainable technologies.

CREST provides industry R&D, demonstration and testing facilities for new renewable energy products and sustainable technologies. The facilities are available for use by small companies within the region who have ideas for new products but who currently do not have the physical and/or technical capacity to develop, test and commercialise them.

Within CREST facilities staff are accessible to develop, demonstrate and test new technologies and show how these can be integrated practically and sensibly to achieve energy savings. Services offered by CREST include:

  • R&D in renewable energy systems and sustainable technologies
  • Development and testing of sustainable construction methods and materials
  • Innovative product and component design
  • Development of demonstration prototypes and models
  • Testing of renewable energy systems and products
  • Demonstration and testing of retrofit technologies
  • Data analysis and performance monitoring
  • Advice and consultancy on renewable energy and sustainable technologies

CREST operates across a network of educational institutions including Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Dumfries and Galloway College in Scotland. The flagship facilities for CREST are located at South West College’s Technology and Skills Centre in Enniskillen and comprises of three areas; the CREST Passive Pavillion, the R&D Laboratory and CREST Hub.

It’s hoped that CREST will be a useful resource for businesses participating on the GREBE mentoring programme.  For further information please visit: