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The effects of the economic crisis and ensuing recession are still very evident in communities across Europe. Small towns and villages have been worst hit: cuts in public services, the stark closure of businesses and high levels of unemployment contribute to the hollowing out of community life. With the new Erasmus + Strategic Partnership project Restart+ Communities we will work together to create innovative learning tools and resources which equip leaders of community groups, public authorities and educational institutions with the knowledge and skills needed to adopt a transformative approach to community reactivation.
RESTART+ Communities draws upon the findings and results of its successor RESTART Entrepreneurship project, which aimed at supporting second-time entrepreneurs. In its second edition, RESTART+ Communities steps forward to build the regional alliances of practice to equip community leaders with knowledge, resources and training opportunities to facilitate smart, sustainable and inclusive community growth. In the course of 2 years, the project team will develop:
- Produce a Restart + Communities toolkit (IO1) and use it to create 4 Community Alliances (IO2) comprising 12 community leaders in each country;
- Create a Self-Assessment Tool (IO3) to help community leaders identify strengths, opportunities and assets for community reactivation;
- Develop a unique training model, delivered through OERs (IO4) and an online course (IO5), to provide community leaders with the knowledge and skills to adopt a transformative, sustainable approach to local community investment and regeneration;
- Consolidate the capacity of the Alliance members through a Communities of Best Practice 5-day training programme;
- Disseminate results widely to enable scaling of the Alliance + training approach in participating countries and replication in other regions of Europe.
The RESTART+ Communities project consortium consists of 7 organisations from 6 countries, each with a direct interest in using the project’s outputs to further their work with community leaders. Drawn from public, private and non-profit sectors, each partner will bring valuable knowledge and networks which will contribute to the project aims. Partners include Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Ireland; lead partner), Momentum (Ireland), Banbridge District Enterprises Limited (Northern Ireland), North-East Regional Development Agency (Romania), The Municipality of Lousada (Portugal), European E-learning Institute (Denmark) and University Industry Innovation Network (Netherlands).
The project officially started on 1 December 2018 and was launched at the kick-off meeting at the leading partner Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland on 26-27 March, 2019. After a warm welcome by Letterkenny Institute of Technology, all the partners are now ready to embark on a journey of building alliances, developing resources and training the community leaders of tomorrow. Stay tuned for the project updates and check out social media channels:
LinkedIn: Restart+ Communities page