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EC FUNDING TO REVITALISE LEEDS

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The European Commission has approved an operational programme under the Community initiative URBAN for the period 1...
The European Commission has approved an operational programme under the Community initiative URBAN for the period 1997-1999 designed to stimulate measures to combat the levels of deprivation and exclusion in Chapeltown and Harehills areas of Leeds in Yorkshire.

These will involve creating new employment opportunities, improving the local quality of life and increasing confidence in the area.

The Leeds URBAN Initiative programme aims to unlock the potential of local people through the development of a community based Urban Partnership Group and build on a tradition of enterprising activity to improve the area's prospects and bring it closer to the level of surrounding prosperity. Greater local business confidence as well as as well as community involvement in the economic regeneration process will be achieved as a result of the programme. Furthermore, this general improvement in the local economy will contribute to reductions in crime and a greater sense of security in the area. Over 200 jobs are to be directly created and more than 100 people trained for employment.

The Community part-financing will amount to an average of 47% of the total investment, the remainder being provided by national authorities and private bodies.

This Community finance is being provided by the European Regional Development Fund (3.38MECU) and the European Social Fund (1.126 MECU).

The main schemes covered by this programme are:

1. Capacity building

2. Regenerating Chapeltown and Harehills

3. Access to employment.

This programme forms part of the implementation of the Community's URBAN initiative, a set of measures designed by the Community to find solutions to the serious social problems caused by the crisis in many depressed urban areas by supporting schemes for economic and social revitalisation.

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