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IP/02/138

Brussels, 25 January 2002

Urban II programme: European Union contributes EUR 5.3 million to urban regeneration in the City of Gothenburg (Sweden)

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the City of Gothenburg in Sweden. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 5.3 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 9.2 million in further investment from the public sector and € 1.5 million from the private sector, creating total resources of € 16 million. Priorities will include training, improvements to the business environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.

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 the city of Gothenburg is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training and renewing the business infrastructure. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in the city of Gothenburg."

The programme covers an area which extends from Brämaregården in the south, over the Backa and Marieholm industrial areas, to Lövgärdet in the northern part of Gothenburg. The area is struggling with high levels of long-term unemployment, widespread health problems, high proportions of immigrants, low education levels and a significant shortage of technical qualifications. The area also suffers from high levels of crime and drug abuse. On the other hand, there is an abundance of green areas, a well-organised public transport system, great labour force potential and a good standard of housing.

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

  • Utilising and developing human resources. Key actions aim at providing training for youth, immigrants, and the unemployed. In addition, improving the labour market capacity and co-operation between educational institutions and labour market will be emphasised. (Community contribution: € 3.1 million);

  • Increasing the attractiveness and status of the urban area. Key actions include developing business services and strengthening the local economy. (Community contribution: € 1.7 million).

An additional amount of € 0.5 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.

URBAN

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 programme for the City of Gothenburg is the sole URBAN II programme in Sweden for the period of 2000-2006.

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

The Managing Authority of the programme is the County Administrative Board in Örebro län. Day-to-day management is delegated to:

Marianne Bernhardtz

City hall Council of Gothenburg

Phone:  +46-031 611185

Fax:  +46-3546 6401

E-mail: Marianne.Bernhardtz@Stadshuset.Goteborg.Se

Håkan Tingstorp

Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications

Phone: +46-8 405 1246

Fax:  +46-8 203 127

E-mail: Hakan.Tingstorp@Industry.Ministry.Se

Further information

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

European Commission :

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

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


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