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COMMUNITIES GIVEN CHANCE TO REBUILD LOCAL SHOPS AND SERVICES

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Welsh rural development minister Michael German today invited rural communities to bid for funding for two pilot pr...
Welsh rural development minister Michael German today invited rural communities to bid for funding for two pilot projects in areas which have lost shops and post offices.

The projects will be carried out as part of the Rural Community Action programme under which the Welsh Assembly government is providing£750,000 a year over the next three years to support rural retail services.

Announcing the pilot projects Mr German said: 'This is an excellent opportunity for those in rural areas to work together to restore retail services that have previously been lost.

'With such a strong input from rural communities, these projects can be tailored to ensure they meet the needs of those they serve and remain sustainable.

'This is an innovative approach to tackling the long-standing problems such as market failure faced by rural communities who have entirely lost their retail facilities.

'Wales is leading the way in developing a practical series of measures to tackle rural regeneration. The emphasis is on practicality and local delivery - schemes which can be developed and put into practice on a local level to make a real difference to rural communities through integrated community action.'

The pilots will include the setting up of an advisory group, including representatives from the private sector, to support the projects and to consider issues in relation to sourcing, wholesale and distribution, pricing and local procurement.

Notes

The£750,000 to support rural retail services is one of the three elements of Rural Community Action - Gweithred Cymunedau Gwedig - announced by Michael German on 23 October this year. It is a new programme to strengthen working and living in rural Wales, through which the Welsh Assembly government will promote sustainable rural communities.

The package will also provide£2m for rural community regeneration and£300,000 for the Wales Rural Observatory.

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