In the context of the URBAN II EU Community Initiative, the Senator for Economics and Ports submitted a draft programme to the European Commission in November 2000. This programme enabled measures of economic, labour-market and urban development to be carried out in Bremerhaven between 2001 and 2006. The selected area in Bremerhaven, with a total of around 23,000 inhabitants, mainly covered parts of Lehe district, as well as parts of neighbouring districts.
The priority themes were: economic development, labour market and social affairs, urban renewal and ecology, and technical assistance.
The flagship project was the creation and management of a start-up centre for the multimedia and IT sector, with funding going towards the development of wasteland at the Old/New Port into a technology park. Companies setting up in the technology park and the vicinity have created or safeguarded several hundred jobs.
In total, funding of 20,177,654 was available for Bremerhavens URBAN II programme between 2000 and 2006.
The year 2000 saw the start of a new assistance period in the European structural policies which have been realigned on the basis of Agenda 2000. In the course of this seven-year assistance period, from 2000 2006, the Federal Land of Bremen will continue to receive European funding as part of the Objective-2-Programme to support the economic and social redevelopment of areas with structural problems.
At around 16 million per annum, the financial assistance is still higher than the figure for 1994 1999. The total volume of funds provided for 2000 2006 thus amounts to approx. 113 million. The Federal Land of Bremen is obliged to provide co-financing of at least the same extent, so that total resources of approx. 226 million are available for the measures of the Objective-2-Programme.
These support funds will benefit not only the entire city of Bremerhaven (population approx. 127,000), but also parts of the city of Bremen (affecting a population of approx. 220,000). The area designated for assistance in Bremen itself is smaller than in the past, when a population of almost 300,000 was registered for the relevant area.