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    The Commission has decided to co-finance pilot actions to tackle problems
    of urban regeneration in parts of London and Marseille. A total of
    9.1 MECU (5.1 MECU for London and 4.0 MECU for Marseille) is being
    provided by the ERDF over a two year period for a range of actions with a
    total cost of 20.2 MECU. This decision is the result of an initiative
    taken by Bruce Millan, the regional policy Commissioner, in 1989, when he
    invited London and Marseille, two cities not otherwise receiving
    assistance from the Community's Regional Fund, to submit innovatory pilot
    schemes which could be funded from money earmarked for such purposes(1).
    Decisions to put in place the European Social Fund's contribution to
    these schemes (principally co-financing the operational costs of the
    training element) are being examined under the responsibility of Ms Vasso
    Papandreou.
    Explaining the background to the decision, Mr Millan said, "We have to be
    selective about the problems we try to tackle with the Community's
    Structural Funds if we are to be sure of achieving a real impact. Under
    Objectives 1 and 2 of the reform, the focus is rightly on areas of
    industrial decline. This leaves out some urban areas with acute and
    highly concentrated problems of unemployment and economic and
    environmental  decay. The people and elected representatives of these
    areas very understandably look to the Community as well as to their
    national and local authorities for help in their efforts to cope with
    these problems. The co-financed schemes decided today represent a modest
    contribution, but one which the Commission believes will have an impact
    beyond the localities concerned, since many cities share the problems of
    London and Marseille and should be able to benefit from the experience
    gained. We shall be considering extending the pilot schemes to the other
    cities, some of which have already presented proposals to the
    Commission."
    The London and Marseille schemes have been designed by the local
    authorities, in consultation with the UK and French national authorities
    and the Commission, to look at new approaches to urban problems and to
    have demonstration potential for other European cities.
    The objectives of these actions are:
    -  the introduction of economic activity into public housing estates;
    -  the restoration of derelict land, improvements in the environment and
       the better use of space;
    
    (1) Article 10 of the ERDF regulation No.(EEC)4254/88.
                                      - 2 -
    -  extending the local communities the employment and other benefits of
       the activities of growth sectors in their localities, including major
       development projects which may otherwise pass them by;
    -  developing the economic potential of members of ethnic minorities.
    In London eight areas are targeted in inner city zones: Brixton, the
    eastern fringe of the City of London, Deptford, Finsbury Park and Seven
    Sisters, Central Hackney, Kings Cross, the Lower Lea  Valley and South
    Canning Town and Custom House areas of Newham, and the northern part of
    Southwark. Each is a small, discrete area with a population of between
    25,000 and 50,000. The 8 areas together have a population of about
    330,000.
    Examples of the actions proposed for London include:
    -  changing the use of garages into workshops and providing measures to
       encourage the formation of small busineses;
    -  training targetted towards ethnic minorities. For example, the
       provision of mobile training units to bring training to people in
       housing estates;
    -  an Arts Technical Centre and computer-aided graphics unit in the Kings
       Cross area.
    The action in Marseille deals with three peripheral housing estates - La
    Bricarde, La Castellane and Le Plan d'Aou with a population of about
    10,000. Also included are two projects in the Panier and Beisunce area
    near the city centre.
    Examples of the actions proposed for Marseille include:
    -  recreation and better use of space within the estates with the aim of
       drawing in commercial and economic development;
    -  change of use of ground floor flats with security problems into
       workshop units;
    -  a mobile training unit to bring training to the people living in the
       three estates and other actions designed to improve the job
       opportunities of local residents;
    -  in the Belsunce area near the city centre, a project "Cité de la
       Musique" designed to examine the way in which music and culture can
       promote economic development.
    Both pilot projects can enhance inter-regional co-operation and the
    exchange of ideas between cities. In both cases committees will be set up
    to monitor progress and evaluate results. It is intended that there will
    be some joint meetings so that London and Marseille can learn directly
    from each other and that a wider sharing of the results will follow.

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