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Gwynedd, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend among areas of worst deprivation

Gwynedd, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend are among the areas of worst deprivation in the UK, according to a new study.

Analysis found that 85% of Great Britain's 98 coastal local authorities had pay levels below the national average. Credit: PA

The report compared earnings, employment, health and education data in local authority areas and identified 'pockets of deprivation' in seaside towns and coastal communities.

Analysis by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank found that 85% of Great Britain's 98 coastal local authorities had pay levels below the national average for 2016.

The research commissioned by BBC Breakfast found that Gwynedd was one of the 10 local authorities in Great Britain with the lowest average employee pay.

Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend made up some of the 20 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest proportion of individuals in poor health.

The author of the report and Chief Executive of SMF, Scott Corfe, says the areas lack of infrastructure is leading to the deprivation level.

Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres in the UK, which compounds the difficulties faced by residents in these areas. Not only do they lack local job opportunities, but travelling elsewhere for work is also relatively difficult.

Despite the evident social and economic problems which these places face, there is currently no official definition of a 'coastal community'. The Government needs to do more to track - and address - economic problems in our coastal towns.

– Scott Corfe, SMF's Chief Economist

The UK Government has pledged to give £40 million to coastal areas in a bid to boost employment and encourage tourism.

This Government recognises the challenges facing coastal communities and our investment in local growth is already making a big difference.

We've also announced today another £40 million of Government funding to further boost economic growth and create jobs.

Our Coastal Communities Fund has provided £170 million for 278 projects since 2012, bringing in two million extra visitors, creating almost 500 new businesses and securing 6,000 new jobs.

– Department for Communities and Local Government Spokesman