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 Bremerhaven’s 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.