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My Town, My Plan

In September 2019, the Hincks Centre commenced the delivery of My Town, My Plan Community Training Programme in 8 towns across Cork county. Carrigaline, Cobh, Midleton and Youghal took part in the South Cork programme and Clonakilty, Kinsale, Rosscarbery and Skibbereen in the West Cork programme. 

The programme was designed by the teams at the Hincks Centre and The Discovery Partnership, and was funded by the LEADER programme in collaboration with SECAD* Partnership CLG.

My Town, My Plan Community Training Programme provided an innovative approach to future planning and development of community resources in towns and their hinterlands. Training workshops were used to provide information, stimulate discussion, link resources and develop an action plan in conjunction with the communities in the areas.

At a personal level the programme was designed to positively impact on knowledge, leadership, management and teamwork skills.

At a community level the programme was designed to positively influence the community’s competence and capability to inform themselves, evaluate options and make collaborative decisions. This will enable the communities to create viable and sustainable community/social enterprises and develop an appropriate Town Plan for the future, with a clear sense of how the plan is supported with the appropriate legal structure and governance.

The intention and expected outcome of the training programme was to positively impact on the innovative development of a cohesive Town Plan for the future.



The programme was delivered in twelve sessions. Each participant received an information / learning pack as well as materials from each training session. Each town had an assigned facilitator who worked with the group on their vision/plans for their town and/or hinterland.

Four Core topics were delivered to the participants in each town. The topics were:

  • Core A - Developing Community / Social Enterprise
  • Core B - Moving from Ideas to Validation
  • Core C - Legal Structures/Governance and Financing Social Projects/Community Enterprises
  • Core D - Developing My Town, My Plan Strategic Planning Process

In addition to the Core topics, each town had the opportunity to select four Option topics to compliment their training. Options selected were relevant to that town's vision for their future Town Plan. These sessions, one per topic, were delivered by trainers expert in those specific fields. The comprehensive list of Options were categorised under the following headings:

  • Theme A - Enterprise and Asset Management
  • Theme B - Social, Community and Volunteer Supports and
  • Theme C - Environment

Each town group prepared an Ideas Document outlining their plan/ideas for their town and a poster to graphically summarise their visions.

Ideas summaries and posters for the South Cork groups (Carigaline, Cobh, Midleton and Youghal) can be viewed by clicking here.

Ideas summaries and posters for the West Cork groups (Clonakilty, Kinsale, Rosscarbery and Skibbereen) can be viewed by clicking here.

A 2-3 minutes themed video was produced for each town. (See below.) The videos covered key aspects of the project and themes relevant to the telling of the story of the project. Produced by professional media experts, the videos illustrated key points of the project activity and included video footage and photographs from the towns and their hinterlands. A representative from each town volunteered to participate in the filming of the videos. 




Shared Learning Event West Cork - September 29, 2020.


Shared Learning Event South Cork - October 7, 2020.


Themed Video: West Cork - Clonakilty, Kinsale, Rosscarbery & Skibbereen.


Themed Video: South Cork - Carrigaline, Cobh, Midleton & Youghal.




The end of each programme was marked with a final showcase - a Shared Learning event. Although originally scheduled for late April 2020 as live events, due to Covid_19 they were moved online. Being achievement events, they provided recognition for the participants that completed the programme. The pre-recorded videos were shown showcasing each town’s idea/vision for the future. Both events hosted expert speakers from around the country on topics such as social enterprise, retail in towns and tourism (see videos above). The eBook for the events is available here.


Representatives from the West Cork towns.
(L to R) -  Alan Clayton - Kinsale; Denis Calnan - Rosscarbery; Sandra Gallagher - Skibbereen and Margaret O'Donovan - Clonakilty (including Ballineen/Enniskeane and Dunmanway).


Representatives from the South Cork towns.
(L to R) - Mick McCarthy - Youghal, Carol Harpur - Midleton, Melanie O’Driscoll - Cobh; Barry Cogan - Carrigaline


* SECAD Partnership CLG (SECAD) is a Local Development Company that delivers a range of rural development and social inclusion programmes including LEADER 2014-2020, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, the Rural Social Scheme, Tus, PEIL 2014-2020 and many others. SECAD manages the LEADER programme as an implementing partner on behalf of the South and West Cork Local Community Development Committee and Cork County Council.



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