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IP/02/140

Brussels, 25 January 2002

Urban II programme: European Union contributes EUR 5.3 million to urban regeneration in Dublin - Ballyfermot (Ireland)

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Ballyfermot area in Dublin. 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 € 6.1 million in further investment from the public sector creating total resources of € 11.4 million. The strategy in Ballyfermot is designed to enable local development through innovative flagship models. The programme identifies a variety of needs, social exclusion being the main focus. The programme aims to tackle social exclusion of key target groups and to invest as well in infrastructure projects in the area.

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 Dublin-Ballyfermot is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, community participation, civic service integration, infrastructural development and youth and family. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Dublin-Ballyfermot."

Ballyfermot lies on the western side of Dublin city and has strong geographical boundaries framed by the Chapelizod by-pass, the Grand Canal and the M50 Motorway. The Ballyfermot area consists of seven district electoral divisions(2) and covers a population of 21,149. Economic activity in this area has declined and long term unemployment and social problems characterise the area.

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

  • Community participation. Key actions include the promotion of community participation and capacity building to enable individuals and non-governmental organisations to be actively involved in the development of their community. (Community contribution: € 1.2 million).

  • Civic service integration. Key actions include the development of an integrated resource programme involving all the key service providers in identifying and supporting socially excluded persons currently falling between service gaps (Community contribution: € 0.8 million).

  • Infrastructural development. Key actions include the development of a significant number of high profile Urban branded infrastructure projects that will impact positively on socially excluded persons (Community contribution: € 2.2 million).

  • Youth and family. Key actions aim at raising the level of educational participation and subsequent employability, and reduce the numbers of families and young people at risk. (Community contribution: € 0.7 million)

An additional amount of € 0.4 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 Dublin-Ballyfermot programme is the sole URBAN II programme in Ireland 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 Dublin Corporation. Day-to-day management is delegated to:

URBAN Ballyfermot (Mr Paul Clegg / Mr Philip Land)

Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre

Ballyfermot

Dublin 10

Ireland

Phone:  +353-1-6207158

Fax:  +353-1-6215974

E-mail: info@urbanbl.ie

Further information

More detailed information on the URBAN II programme can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 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.

(2) Cherry Orchard A, B and C, Decies, Drumfin, Kilmainham A, Kylemore


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