In Poland the German team gave eight presentations about Leer and its hinterland
Geographical position and hinterland
The position of the Leer is 53° northern latitude and 7° eastern longitude. Leer lies in the north-west of Germany, close to the Netherlands, only 40 km from the North Sea. The next city larger in size is Bremen (100 km). There are two rivers running through Leer, where the Leda runs into the Ems, which in turn flows into the North Sea. In the North Sea, just off the coast, are the seven East-Frisian islands (Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Wangerooge). The Wadden Sea is an integral nature reserve and a world natural heritage.
Local and international transport
In Leer the most used means of transports are cars, lorries, trains and buses. We have got an airfield for transport of persons. The planes from there only fly to the East Frisian Islands and sightseeing flights. It’s a small airfield in Nüttermoor. We have also a train station from which we can travel to many other cities, for example Bremen, Hanover and so on. The northbound line leads to Emden/Norddeich, an eastbound eastbound line links Leer with Oldenburg and Bremen, and further with Hamburg or Hannover. To the south, Leer is connected to the Ruhrgebiet and Cologne.
The motorway connections are similar, but there is a motorway to the Netherlands (Groningen), too. The train line to Groningen was recently disconnected due to a ship destroying the railway brigde over the Ems.
Every morning we students go to school by school bus, by bike, by feet or by car. Some older students ride their motorbikes to school.
Population – People and their needs
People need basic needs, for example food, drinks, and sleep to survive. We need a job when we are older, but in Germany people are able to live without a job, because they are entitled to unemployment benefits (so-called Hartz IV).
In summer, people need swimming pools or lakes for cooling down or chilling. In Leer the swimming pool is closed, but we have a few lakes around Leer.
Every town needs a hospital, in Leer are even two.
In our leisure time we can go to the cinema or we can go shopping with friends in our city. If we like sports, we can go to the bowling centre or other sports facilities or clubs.
The structure of employment
The unemployment rate in the district of Leer had decreased to 6.3% in December 2015, which means there are only 5,450 unemployed people out of 165,000 inhabitants. A more serious problem is that there are many unemployed teenagers. For the unemployed people in Leer it means that if the company they work for closes down, they will most probably lose their job, with the prospect of staying unemployed. This in turn means that quite a few people in this district only have a small income (Hartz IV, see above) for food, clothes, rent and other expenses that they need to have a good life. Their families will suffer, too.
In Leer are many attractions, for example the old town with the town hall, the harbour and the old Waage. It is one of the most important attractions and you can enjoy the old town walking through the old and colourful historic houses. Leer’s old town is the venue for a traditional year market, the Gallimarkt. Since the beginning we have celebrated more than 500 Gallimarkts. Near the old town is the monument commemorating the war with France back in 1870. In the west of Leer we sport a little hill, the Plytenberg. The Plytenberg was important, although it is only 9 metres high. In the fifteenth century it provided a view to the castle in Leerort. In the other quarter of Leer, in Loga, we have a big park, the Julianenpark. And further down the street, there is the Evenburg, surrounded by another beautiful park.
Local sporting, leisure and culture facilities
In Leer we have many opportunities to do sports. We can do football, volleyball, rowing, basketball and so on. But we feature a special East Frisian sport called Boßeln.
In summer we can eat lots ice cream in our 15 ice-cream parlours. We can borrow books from libraries or we can visit museums like Bünting’s tea museum.
Shopping Facilities and services
Multi is a family-owned huge supermarket in Leer. In Leer are two Multi shops, one of them is near the Leda, the other near the Julianenpark. The Multi shop near the Leda is part of a shopping mall, where we have Expert Bening, an electronics market.
When you like dancing, you can go to the dancing school Schrock Opitz. We have nail studios, and shops like H&M or Tally Weijl for clothes.
Local offices and institutions supporting small business
If you want to found a facility, you can get help from persons like accountants, business consultants and business developers. When you need start-up money, you can get money from supporting organisations. There are many rules, for example you have to register your business with the administrative district. Or: you only have to be seven years of age to be allowed to found a business, but your parents will have to guide you.
Leer, like most places in Germany, levies many taxes for businesses, which you have to pay when you open a small business. In Germany are different types of business. Thesmalles type is the micro-enterprise, for which you need at least ten employees with more than 2,000,000 euros. The biggest type is the large-enterprise with more than 250 employees and more than 50,000,000 euros annual turnover.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.