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Poverty combating scheme extended for Wales

The Welsh Communities First programme is to be extended, minister for communities and tackling poverty Jeff Cuthbert has announced.

The programme had been relaunched last year to run from April 2012 to March 2015, but has now been confirmed to help deprived areas until May 2016. Across Wales, 52 clusters will benefit from £75m funding to promote economic growth, improved health and education.

The funding supports a delivery team for each cluster as well as a range of community based projects and activities, aimed at helping people to develop new skills, retrain, or access employment.

Speaking at the Communities First Conference in Swansea, Cuthbert said: “I remain committed to the work of Communities First and I want to see it continue to make a difference in the coming years.

“Communities across Wales continue to cope with the double impact of cuts to public spending and a struggling economy.

“By committing to extending Communities First, the Welsh Government shows its determination to continue to take action and do all we can to tackle poverty and support our communities.

“Too many people’s lives are affected by poverty. Too many families have nobody working and cannot afford basic essentials like a warm home. This is a big concern for me and for the Welsh Government. We have set out what we are doing to help in our Tackling Poverty Action Plan.

“The goals set in that plan will not be achieved without the hard work and commitment of everyone is this room and the wider Communities First team.

 “Not all of the levers to tackle poverty are in our gift, but one of the main planks of our Action Plan is Communities First. The new programme is very focussed on making a difference with its three key themes – Prosperous Communities, Learning Communities and Healthy Communities.”

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