Communities First – what the future holds
The Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be asked to
discuss a report on the future of Flintshire Communities First when it meets
The Communities First programme, which tackles poverty in the most deprived
areas of Wales, started in Flintshire in 2002. The programme is due to end on
31 March 2018. Funding for the LIFT programme, helping the long term
unemployed back into work, is also ending on 31 March 2018. The Communities 4
Work employment programme will continue to operate in the former Communities
First areas until March 2020.
Welsh Government will be introducing two new programmes from 1 April 2018. The
first, the Legacy Fund, will offer small scale funding to enable Flintshire
County Council to continue to deliver some particularly effective Communities
First activities for a further two years.
The second programme, the Employability Programme, will provide the management
infrastructure for the Communities 4 Work programme and will fund additional
support for unemployed people in deprived areas until March 2020.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor
Derek Butler, said:
“Communities First has been a hugely successful programme in Flintshire, with
almost 4,000 people supported and 382 people finding work, along with the
Business Enterprise Network supporting 120 people and helping to form 25 new
businesses – just a few of the great achievements. Many of these programmes
have been working with the most disadvantaged and least engaged members of our
“In Flintshire this year, we have focussed on employment support, skills
development, work experience and social enterprise development and the
proposals by Welsh Government fit well with what we are doing in Flintshire.”
Funding for Communities 4 Work and the Legacy Fund have been announced, but
funding for the Employability Programme have not yet been released.
These new programmes will need a similar staff ratio to what is currently in
place. The roles in the new programmes may differ, though, from those within
the current structure and a further restructure of the team will need to be