County Wicklow Partnership is pleased to announce a training programme to assist local communities develop innovative Smart Village strategies, a concept in which participatory approaches are used to create new social, economic and environmental opportunities, enabled by technology and social innovation.

The programme has been developed by rural development specialist Ian Dempsey, Prescience Business & Management Development Ltd, who will guide participants through an enlightening and informative programme. It will explore development opportunities in areas such as remote work strategies and hub development; digital transformation; climate change, renewable energy and decarbonisation; environmental management, biodiversity and habitat protection; circular economy; digitisation of tourism and recreation; social and community development; resilience;
health and wellbeing. Case studies and best practice examples will help develop participant’s knowledge and understanding of key themes and concepts.

The programme comprises 7 modules as follows:
1. Defining the Concept
2. Examples of Smart projects
3. Key Themes
4. Situation Analysis
5. Enablers
6. Strategic Planning
7. Pulling it all Together

Modules 1 to 3 will be combined and delivered in the form of a standalone day-long seminar. Applicants can choose to attend on either;

  • Friday 25 th March 2022 from 10am – 4pm at The Glendalough Hotel


  • Saturday 26 th March from 10am–4pm at The Parkview Hotel, Newtownmountkennedy

Modules 4-5 and 6-7 will be delivered as half day seminars to selected participants on agreed dates and venues in April 2022. On completion of the programme participants will be equipped with practical ideas and actions and helped to identify the enabling policies and funding sources through which these strategies can developed and resourced.

Groups who develop SMART Village strategies for their area may also be invited to apply to participate in a co-operation project with partner groups in Finland, Poland and Spain in Autumn 2022.
The programme is open to all communities throughout County Wicklow. Participants will be tasked with bringing commitment, ambition and a desire to collaborate, rather than technological knowledge. Places are strictly limited. Participants interested in learning more about the course are invited to submit an expression of interest here.

This training programme has been supported by Wicklow Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and funded through the Co-operation measure of the LEADER Rural Development Programme 2021 – 2022.