Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 15:59 UK

Wales' most deprived areas named

Rhyl seafront (pic: Ronnie Perkins)
Parts of Rhyl are among the most deprived in Wales

Three areas of the popular holiday resort of Rhyl have been named as some of the most deprived areas of Wales.

Three parts of the Denbighshire town were in the top 10 in the 2008 Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

It took into account factors such as health, income, education, employment, skills and training.

Part of Butetown in Cardiff was second in the table, with communities in Wrexham, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly also in the top 10.

The report divided Wales into almost 1,900 areas, each containing about 1,500 people.

Rhyl West's two areas were first and fourth in the table, with part of Rhyl South West fifth.

The town needs to take advantage of these projects, and re-invent itself for the 21st Century
Hugh Evans, Denbighshire council leader, on Rhyl's developments

Although the index is now more detailed, the Rhyl West ward was top of the deprivation table in 2000, although Butetown took the unwanted accolade in 2005 when the index was last published.

The south Wales valleys were also among the most deprived parts of Wales.

Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf had the highest percentage of areas in the most deprived 10%.

Denbighshire council leader Hugh Evans said "a tremendous amount of work" was taking place to improve the quality of life for people in Rhyl.

"Rhyl is currently seeing significant public sector investment, and major private sector-funded projects are under development," he said.

Rhyl town centre
Rhyl West 2 (Denbighshire)
Butetown 2 (Cardiff)
Queensway 1 (Wrexham)
Rhyl West 1 (Denbighshire)
Rhyl South West 2 (Denbighshire)
Source: Welsh Assembly Government

"The town needs to take advantage of these projects, and re-invent itself for the 21st Century.

"Developments such as the harbour regeneration and Ocean Plaza will be significant catalysts for future growth.

"We need to seize these opportunities and make sure that residents and visitors to Rhyl benefit from them."

He also pointed to the Rhyl City Strategy, which aims to tackle unemployment and improve training opportunities, and other schemes to improve housing and restore town landmarks.

Rhyl West 2, the most deprived area, is the part of town from the railway line either side of the station towards the seafront.

Rhyl West 1, fourth in the table, includes the streets further west between the railway line and the seafront.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said "a great deal of work" was under way to improve the lives of people in the most deprived areas of Wales.

"Tackling multiple disadvantage requires a multi-dimensional approach," he said.

"We are working together across the Welsh Assembly Government and our partners to tackle deprivation.

"Our flagship community regeneration programme, Communities First, is operating in more than 160 deprived areas to improve the quality of life for those who are living and working in Wales' most disadvantaged communities."

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