Urban II

Urban IIi is the Community Initiative of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDFi) for sustainable development in the troubled urban districts of the European Union for the period 2000-06. Urban aims to promote the design and implementation of new strategies for economic and social regeneration in troubled urban areas. It also aims to reinforce and share knowledge and experience on regeneration and sustainable urban development in the European Union.

Seventy cities and urban districts were proposed by Member States to the Commission. These urban areas are suffering an economic and social crisis caused by at least three of the following problems:

  • High level of long-term unemployment
  • Low level of economic activity
  • High level of poverty and exclusion
  • Specific need for conversion, due to local economic and social difficulties
  • High number of immigrants, ethnic and minority groups, or refugees
  • Low level of education, significant skills deficiencies and high drop-out-rates from school
  • High level of criminality and delinquency
  • Precarious demographic trends
  • Particularly poor environment conditions

The types of action funded by the Urban II Programme include,

  • Improving living conditions, for example by renovating buildings and creating green areas
  • Creating jobs, for example in environment, culture, and services to the population
  • Integrating the less-favoured social classes into the education and training systems
  • Developing environmentally friendly public transport systems
  • Creating effective energy management systems and make greater use of renewable energy
  • Using information technologies

The European Commission adopts Programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These Programmes run for the whole of the period 2000 to 2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process. There will be one Urban II Programme in the North West region covering the inner area wards of Burnley. The main themes are empowering the community, providing positive pathways for local people and developing safer neighbourhoods. The total value of the Programme is about 24 million euros. The total value of the Burnley programme is around £14 million, 50% of which is ERDF. It is managed by the Burnley Urban Programme Group through their Action Plan.