Urban regeneration minister David Curry said negotiations had started with the EC over the government's proposals.
But the minister warned the areas proposed by the government could be 'narrowed down' in view of the limitation of areas qualifying for help across the European Union.
Mr Curry said both the Urban and Leader II initiatives would complement the government's aim of promoting sustainable regeneration and economic development. The quality of life, both urban and rural, would be improved by targeting these initiatives to those who most need them, he said.
The financial allocation for England in 1994-1999 will be £50m, of which £13.3m will be for the Merseyside area.
The rural focused Leader II initiative in England will be primarily targeted areas in the Northern Uplands (Northumberland/Yorks/Lancs/Cumbria), Midlands Uplands (Derby/Staffs), Lincolnshire, East Anglia, Cornwall and parts of Devon and Somerset, and the Marches (Shrops/Hereford).
This will complement the government's aim of maintaining a prosperous and diverse economy in rural areas, particularly those with difficulties owing to, for example, their remoteness or structural changes in agriculture.
The Leader financial allocation for England 1994-1999 will be £20m.