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PLANNING PROJECTS GET£800,000 BOOST

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Schemes to tackle a range of problems from building in flood risk...
Schemes to tackle a range of problems from building in flood risk

areas to managing historic city centres are to get an£800,000 boost,

regeneration minister Tony McNulty announced today.

Six projects are in line for a combination of UK government and

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money in a scheme called

Interreg IIIB.

Tony McNulty said:

'This will have a real impact on people's lives. Planning needs to

get a lot smarter to meet the highly complex challenges faced by

communities today.

'The money will be used to look at innovative ways of solving some

tough problems like protecting historic areas, getting better use of

green spaces in towns and cities and reducing flood risk.'

The six projects are:

FLOWS, led by Cambridgeshire CC and working to improve the

sustainability of development in areas at risk from flooding -

£150,000.

Creative Flood Management, led by the Environment Agency Thames

Region, involved in changing public perception from flood prevention

to flood risk management -£110,388.

Flood Risk and Management in Estuaries, including the Environment

Agency Yorkshire and Humber Region, aiming to reduce flood risk in

estuaries through innovative approaches to land use -£164,665.

Planning for Urban-Rural River Environments, including the

Environment Agency North East Region, looking at sustainable

solutions to water-related planning issues in urban-rural fringe

zones -£57,000.

SAUL, led by Groundwork UK London Region, looking at how open spaces

in cities can better meet community needs -£168,000.

The Liveable City, led by Norwich City Council and dealing with city

centre management issues in historic urban areas -£150,000.

Interreg IIIB is a European community initiative which encourages

co-operation between groups of countries, and regions within them, on

spatial planning. It provides an opportunity to pilot innovative

approaches to spatial planning, to gain expertise from other

countries and to set up joint investment projects.

This is the first wave of funding. A further£8,000,000 has been

earmarked for future projects to run until 2006.

Notes

1. ERDF is available for 50 per cent (in certain circumstances 75

per cent) of the total project costs - the remainder must be met by

the project partners. Government matchfunding is one source that can

be accessed for this, and is reliant on ERDF having been awarded.

2. When judging an application the Office of the Deputy Prime

Minister seeks to determine how far the project will help develop or

implement the relevant regional planning strategies. In England this

includes the Communities Plan, due to be published in January 2003.

Value for money is also an important factor, as is added value and

how other regions will benefit from the experiences gained.

3. The total amount of ERDF being drawn down to the UK by the six

projects is approximately 10,000,000 EUROS (approx.£6,350,000).

4. The successful UK projects are funded through two programme areas

-the North Sea Region, which encompasses the countries around the

North Sea coastline, and the north-west of Europe, which involves

Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of the Netherlands,

France, Germany, and Switzerland.

5. For further information on Interreg IIIB in the UK and on the

ODPM matchfunding scheme please visit www.interregiiib.org.uk

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