A popular north Wales holiday resort has been named the most deprived area in Wales.
Rhyl West in Denbighshire was found to be the poorest part of Wales in a report by the National Assembly for Wales and local authorities.
But Roger Dawson of the Rhyl Business Forum said the finding was ‘amazing’, and blamed the tag on the 700 houses of multiple occupation in the town.
“There’s an overall area of decline caused entirely by this particular problem,” said Mr Dawson.
John Killion of the Rhyl Community Agency said efforts were being made to address the problems which had been accentuated by the decline in tourism in the town.
Projects which had been set up across the area, including a drop-in centre, bond bank and credit union.
There were also three active residents associations in the area, said Mr Killion.
The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation looked at employment, income, education, housing, health and geographic access to services.
Rhyl West was followed in the table by Penywaun in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Plas Madoc in Wrexham and the Gurnos estate in Merthyr Tydfil.
The report examined electoral divisions within local authorities in a bid to identify areas which would benefit from top-level Eruopean aid and local authority funding.
Merthyr Tydil had the highest number of electoral divisions in the league, with half of wards considered poverty-stricken.
Blaeunau Gwent was second with 40% of wards deprived, followed by Caerphilly.
Assembly Finance Secretary Edwina Hart AM welcomed the publication of the new figures.
She said they represented a significant step forward in efforts to identify areas of the greatest need in Wales.