ABSTRACT

Leicester is a provincial city in the East Midlands region of England. Geographically the city is located in the centre of England and possesses a population of 295,000 (at 1995). Local government is operated by Leicester City Council, which, until the late 1990s, was a district authority. In 1997 Leicester City Council was granted unitary status. This chapter illustrates the European dimension of Leicester up to the period prior to local government reorganisation. Following an overview of the organisational functions of the City Council, the chapter considers the range of European initiatives the authority has been involved with, including funding programmes and networking. Leicester is included as a case study in this book as an example of a provincial urban area. It has not been eligible for any EU Structural Fund assistance, nor is it located on a Trans-European Transport Network route. Consequently the European aspect of Leicester City Council is not as significant as in some of the other cases studied in this book. Nevertheless, it does offer illustrations of the varying ways the European Union affects an urban local government authority in Britain and of the opportunities for local government to attract EU funding for a variety of initiatives.