The North West Coalfield Communities Regeneration Programme has received £8.4m following the North West Development Agency's approval of a second phase for the programme.
The programme is aimed at addressing and reducing high levels of worklessness and developing a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship within coalfield communities over the next three years.
NWDA will fund £4.35m towards the programme, with an additional £4m coming from a range of public and private funders.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive at the NWDA, said: "We have been delighted with the progress that has taken place since the launch of the North West Coalfield Communities Regeneration Programme in 2004. This has included an improvement in health, employment levels, educational achievement and housing.
"The NWDA recognises the need to continue with the programme throughout these challenging economic times, creating further opportunities that support economic growth, improve skills, attract investment and create areas where people want to live, work and invest."
The North West Coalfield Communities Regeneration Programme is being managed by Wigan Council on behalf of the NWDA until 31 March 2012.
The programme aims to regenerate former coalfield communities in the following eight local authority areas:
- St Helens