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Brussels, 3 December 2001

Urban II programme : European Union contributes EUR 9.9 million for urban regeneration in Bremerhaven (Bremen), Germany

Mr Michel Barnier, member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in Bremerhaven in the City State of Bremen, Germany. This URBAN(1) II Community Initiative Programme will provide € 9.9 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted another € 9.9 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of about € 19.8 million. Programme priorities will include strengthening of the local economy and job creation, supporting equal opportunities and preventing social exclusion, improving the living environment and recreational possibilities, increasing the competitiveness of the area, and refurbishing historic buildings for public use.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "The URBAN II Community Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people and organisations at all stages in the decision making process. The URBAN II programme for the city of Bremerhaven is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme's priorities for local development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Bremerhaven."

The programme area covers 326 ha with a total eligible population of 23,000 inhabitants. The densely populated URBAN II area is situated north of the city-centre, comprising the Lehe district, parts of the New Harbour, and the areas of Mitte-Nord and Geestemünde-Nord. The small shops and local service-oriented businesses that line the two main shopping streets (Hafenstrasse, Bürgermeister-Smidt-Strasse), as well as many vacant stores characterise the local economy. Unemployment, the poverty level (in some areas more than 25% of the inhabitants are on welfare) and the crime rate, are well above the city average.

In order to address these problems, the programme focuses on three priorities:

  • Economic development. The main project concerns the development of a technology park: a historic building at the harbour site will be turned into a business accommodation centre for starting entrepreneurs in the multimedia and information technology sector. (Community contribution: about € 5.5 million),

  • Labour market and social affairs. Local employment labour and social activities and training actions with a focus on information society, will be funded as well as neighbourhood management and stimulation of start-ups. (Community contribution about € 2.1 million),

  • Urban renewal and ecology. Projects aim at reconstruction of a former market place and at expanding green areas for recreational use. (Community contribution € 1.9 million).

A Community contribution of about € 0.5 million will be reserved for technical assistance.

The URBAN II Community Initiative

The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2000-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728,3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN II allocation for Germany amounts to € 145.7 million. Programmes have been submitted for Berlin, Bremerhaven, Dessau, Dortmund, Gera, Kassel, Kiel, Leipzig, Luckenwalde, Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Neubrandenburg and Saarbrücken.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which falls under the responsibility of Mr Barnier. Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes, which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

Der Senator für Wirtschaft und Häfen der Freien Hansestadt Bremen

Zweite Schlachtpforte 3

D-28195 Bremen

Phone: +49 (0) 421 3 61 8620 or +49 (0) 421 3 61 8625,


Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following European Commission website:

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.

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