Welsh Assembly to simplify access to Communities funds

The Welsh Assembly is set to establish a single funding source for its Communities First regeneration programme to simplify the complex grant application process, which has been condemned by voluntary organisations.

The Assembly's Communities First programme is designed to assist the 140 most deprived communities, with local groups taking the lead. But a review of the 10-year programme, which received £83m for its first three years, has highlighted a need for simplification.

Deputy social justice minister Huw Lewis said: "There are well over 60 funds potentially available to local Community First partnerships from the Assembly alone. The current level of complexity in making applications can bog down partnerships, limit the draw-down of funds, and damage morale."

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