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Communities in north Wales are one step closer to having their own, local law centre as the North Wales Law Centre Steering Group has secured funding for a Development Manager for the project.

The grants, provided by the Legal Education Foundation and AB Charitable Trust, will fund the work of a Development Manager on a full-time basis for 12 months.

Based in the North Wales Law Centre Steering Group office in Llandudno Junction, the new role will be to work with organisations and communities across north Wales to find opportunities for collaboration and identify the most urgent priority areas where people who need legal advice and representation are cannot access it and where a Law Centre could make a difference. The project is being supported by the Law Centres Network.

The development phase is the first stage of a longer-term project to establish north Wales’ first Law Centre, to provide free legal advice and representation to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it on issues such as housing law, immigration and domestic abuse.

Crash Wigley, chair of the Steering Group, said:

“We know how difficult it can be for people to access legal advice and enforce their rights. We are grateful for the support of Legal Education Foundation and AB Charitable Trust, which will help us make our vision for a law centre in north Wales a reality.”

Ron Davison, Managing Director of Gamlins Law and trustee of the Steering Group, added:

“Gamlins Law is proud to be supporting this project, which has the potential to make a real difference in ensuring that everyone has somewhere to turn to if they need legal advice.”

The Steering Group came together after the critical conclusions of the Commission on Justice in Wales in 2019, which found that there were ‘advice deserts’ in rural and post-industrial areas where people struggle to receive legal advice and stated that ‘the significant cuts to legal aid made in 2012 have hit Wales hard. Proper access to justice is not available with the consequent threat to the Rule of Law.’