A £2.2 million education and health boost will benefit local communities.

Prospects at the end of a five year programme look brighter for Atherton and Tyldesley.

Starting in September money from the fourth round of the government's Single Regeneration Budget will be used to help communities in Hag Fold, Shakerley and Hindsford.

The aim is to cut unemployment, improve primary pupils' achievements and reduce the level of long term child sickness.

Aid news follows a successful bid by Wigan Council in partnership with local schools, community and voluntary workers, health and police.

It will help primary schools and local communities with a wide range of educational, training and health initiatives.

Projects include an education strategy to increase pupil's achievements, group development projects, community education and training, young people's health, parenting skills assistance, play projects, a computerised crime conquest project with Police, and help with IT equipment and training in schools and community centres.

Delighted Council Leader Cllr Peter Smith said:"I am pleased the hard work of all the partners in putting this bid together has paid off.

"Although the amount is less than we originally bid for, the money will be used to attract other funding making a significant difference to communities involved."

"It is the fourth time in five years Wigan has been successful in bidding for government regeneration cash, this is a tribute to the excellent partnership we have developed.

"This programme tackles subjects very dear to the government's heart, low education attainment and poor health.

"We have looked closely at the areas of greatest need which have so far not benefited from regeneration funds, and I am confident we can make a real impact with this money."

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