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Brussels, 22 January 2002

Urban II programme : European Union contributes Euro 11.4 million to urban regeneration in Burnley, UK

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Burnley area of North-West England. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 11.4 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted a further € 11.4 million in investment from the public sector, creating total resources of over € 22.8 million. Priorities will include empowering the community, providing positive pathways for local people and developing safer neighbourhoods.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "The URBAN Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for Burnley is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of empowering the community, providing positive pathways for local people and developing safer neighbourhoods. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in the Burnley area."

The programme area covers all or parts of nine electoral wards(2) in central Burnley, with a population of 32,747. The area is subject to multiple and deep-seated causes of deprivation and suffers from a range of economic, social and physical problems.

The programme aims to tackle these problems with three main priorities:

  • Empowering the community. Key actions include increasing the level of involvement and participation in all aspects of community, social and economic life (Community contribution: € 1.2 million);

  • Providing positive pathways for local people. Key actions include enabling potential and existing offenders to develop their skills and attributes in order to reduce their propensity to engage in anti-social and criminal activity (Community contribution: € 5.4 million);

  • Developing safer neighbourhoods. Key actions include creating a safer environment and embedding safety and security improvements (Community contribution: € 3.9 million).

An additional amount of € 0.9 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.


The aim of the URBAN Community Initiative is the "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 allocation for the United Kingdom amounts to € 121.7 million. Programmes have been submitted for West Wrexham, Belfast, Bristol, Burnley, Halifax, Hetton and Murton, Normanton/Derby, Peterborough, Stockwell, Thames Gateway and Clyde Waterfront.

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). 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

Managing authority is the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions. Day-to-day management of the Burnley programme is delegated to:

The Government Office for the North-West

Washington House

New Bailey Street

Manchester M3 5ER

Phone: 0161 952 4000

Fax:  0161 952 4169


Further information

More detailed information on the URBAN Community Initiative may be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following websites:

European Commission :

Government Office for the North-West:

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

(2) Daneshouse, Bankhall, Barclay, Trinity, Fulledge, Brunshaw, Coal Clough and Deerplay, Rosehill and Queensgate.

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