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£800M MORE TO FIGHT THE BATTLE AGAINST POVERTY

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An£800m, two-year funding package will drive forward the ...
An £800m, two-year funding package will drive forward the

transformation of the most deprived areas in England, said deputy

prime minister John Prescott today.

Speaking at the Guardian/Observer 'New Agenda for British Housing'

conference, Mr Prescott announced that 88 local authorities areas

will get a share of the latest £800m Neighbourhood Renewal

Fund allocation. Mr Prescott said:

'Already, we're turning around years of neglect that have blighted

our most deprived neighbourhoods. Across the country, north and

south, people are benefiting from efforts to reverse the spiral of

decline in impoverished communities - to create places where people

want to live not leave.

'We are giving local people the tools to improve their own quality of

life. To kick-start regeneration by targeting services to the people

and places that need them most. And the results speak for

themselves.'

The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund was set up in 2001 to help local

authorities and their partners to improve services and initiate

regeneration in some of England's most deprived areas. Already, the

Fund has helped to deliver more jobs, better health services and

housing, improved education and safer streets, for people in the 88

target areas. Successful exisiting projects inlcude:

- Wythenshaw, Greater Manchester. Outreach work on the streets has

led to an 18% cut in recorded crime.

- Southampton. A new sexual health clinic is tackling teenage

pregnancy rates, offering support and advice to vulnerable

youngsters.

- West Cumbria. An apprentice training course has helped more than a

dozen unemployed people to find jobs as classroom assistants.

Mr Prescott added:

'But make no mistake. I know there is much more to do if we are to

meet our goal of eradicating post-code poverty for this and future

generations.

'That's why today I am announcing the allocation of a further £800m

for ea ch of the 88 Neighbourhood Renewal areas. This gives

those areas a further share in the total £1.7bn we are

investing as part of our drive to ensure that within 10 to 20 years -

nobody is seriously disadvantaged by where they live.'

The £800m is part of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund's £975m Spending Review 2002 settlement. Details of the individual

allocations were announced to parliament for the first time today.

This brings the total figure allocated by the Neighbourhood Renewal

Fund between 2001 and 2006 to £1.7bn.

A further £86m has also been announced today to fund

continuing community participation work in the 88 areas.

The deputy prime minister also launched the New Deal for Communities

Annual Report 2001/2002 at the Guardian/Observer conference. Key

achievements include:

- Walsall. 19% fall in recorded crime and 39% fall in vehicle crime

between Q2 2001 and Q2 2002.

- East Manchester. 44% of residents felt the area had become safer

in the previous year.

- Bristol. Unemployment falling faster in the NDC than elsewhere in

the city.

With the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, the £2bn New Deal for

Communities is a central plank in the deputy prime minister's Plan

for Sustainable Communities, a £22 billion programme to create

vibrant, thriving and sustainable places to live and work.

The deputy prime minister also announced three new urban

regeneration companies in Sandwell, Derby and West Cumbria & Furness.

These independent companies bring together local government, local

businesses and, crucially, local people to regenerate communities

across the country.

Notes

1. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) provides new money for local

authorities, working as part of Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs),

in the 88 most deprived areas, It is intended as a way to help local

authorities and their partners to begin improving services in the

most deprived neighbourhoods, including contributing to the

achievement of PSA targets to narrow the gap between deprived areas

and the rest of the country and Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy

(LNRS) targets agreed by the LSP.

2. The Spending Review 2002 made available an additional £975m for

NRF. £800m of these additional resources for NRF are today being

allocated to the current 88 eligible areas: £400m in 2004-05 and

£400m in 2005-06. See attached table for region by regional

allocations. £900m of NRF has previously been allocated to the

88 areas from Spending Review 2000. This is part of the government's

10 to 20 year strategy to end postcode poverty, known as the National

Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. For more information, see

www.neighbourhood.gov.uk.

3. The government today confirmed the continuation of funding for

Community Participation programmes in the current 88 Neighbourhood

Renewal Fund (NRF) areas. This means that an additional £86m

will go into the most deprived areas in the country between 2004 06

to ensure that communities are at the heart of renewal. A three-month

consultation begins next month with the community sector on how best

this money should be distributed to deliver the aims of community

participation most effectively. The proposals will also allow local

flexibility on deciding the best ways to build capacity in individual

areas.

4. The New Deal for Communities Annual Review for 2002/02 is

published today, showing the achievements of the partnerships in

delivering real change in their communities. Significant progress has

been made in the key areas of crime, education, employment, health,

housing and the physical environment. The £2bn regeneration

programme is a key element of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood

Renewal. The review is available at www.neighbourhood.gov.uk

5. The first pilot Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) were set u p in

1999 (Liverpool, East Manchester and Sheffield). The Urban White

Paper (November 2000) said that, in addition to the pilots already

established, there would be about 12 further URCs set up over a two

to three year period. The three new URCs announced today bring the

overall total to 14. The existing 11 URCs are: Liverpool, East

Manchester, Sheffield, Corby, Leicester, Tees Valley, Swindon, Hull,

Bradford, Sunderland and the Camborne-Pool-Redruth.

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