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IP/02/107

Brussels, 22 January 2002

Urban II programme : European Union contributes Euro 11.1 million to urban regeneration in Derby, UK

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Normanton area of Derby in the East Midlands of England. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide over € 11.1 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 14.8 million in further investment from the public sector and € 1.9 million from the private sector, creating total resources of € 27.8 million. Priorities will include improving employment opportunities and supporting local businesses, protecting and developing the environment and building community capacity.

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 Derby is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of improving employment opportunities and supporting local businesses, protecting and developing the environment and building community capacity. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in the Derby area."

The programme area covers Normanton in south-west Derby, including all or part of five electoral wards(2), with a population of over 27,200. The area suffers from a range of social and economic problems, including high unemployment, high crime rates, a decaying environment and a low level of skills and educational achievement.

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

  • Improving employment opportunities and supporting local businesses. Key actions include developing the confidence of local people, helping them find jobs and encouraging the competitiveness of local businesses (Community contribution: € 4.6 million);

  • Protecting and developing the environment. Key actions include the refurbishment and renovation of buildings and sites and environmental capacity building (Community contribution: € 2.8 million);

  • Building community capacity. Key actions include ensuring increased community participation, restoring confidence and vitality to the community and exchanging experience (Community contribution: € 2.8 million).

An additional amount of € 0.9 (Community contribution) million 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.

URBAN

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 Derby programme is delegated to:

The Government Office for the East Midlands

The Belgrave Centre

Stanley Place

Talbot Street

Nottingham NG1 5GG

Phone: 0115 971 9971

Fax:   0115 971 2404

E-mail: dchatfield.goem@go-regions.gsi.gov.uk

Further information

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

European Commission :

http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/wbpro/PRORD/prordc/prordc18_en.htm

Government Office for the East Midlands: HYPERLINK "http://www.go-em.gov.uk/"http://www.go-em.gov.uk

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

(2) Babington, Litchurch, Abbey, Derwent, Osmaston.


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