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£3m funding announced for projects to tackle sectarianism

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:41 GMT on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013.

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COMMUNITY groups across Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Scotland which aim to tackle sectarianism were given funding totalling more than £3 million, the Scottish Government announced on Monday (June 10th).

A robust assessment process supported by the independent expert group set up to look at sectarian issues – known as the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland - laid out how the funding should be allocated, with a Small Grants Fund also established in order to distribute £350,000, over the next two years, to small scale and one-off projects in areas across Scotland. 

The Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland was established in August 2012 and tasked with a range of work to inform policy on sectarianism, with its work now extended until September 2013, after which the panel will present its final report to ministers. Part of the work of the group is about building a better evidence base to give Ministers robust and informed advice on the nature, extent and impact of sectarianism in Scotland.

A total of 18 organisations will share in the funding; organisations which include the Conforti Institute, Sense Over Sectarianism, Place for Hope and the Scottish Book Trust.

Minister for Community Safety Roseanna Cunningham said the Scottish Government were “determined” to bet sectarianism.

Ms Cunningham said: “We are determined to create a Scotland which is not weighed down by the prejudices of the past. 

“This announcement backs up our commitment to a community-based approach to tackling sectarianism. We believe that the direct involvement of communities is central to making our communities safer places to live. 

“It is significant that for the first time that decisions about who should receive funding have been informed by the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland, which has helped to set clear criteria and outcomes which all projects will need to meet to be eligible for funding.

“The group evaluated all of the projects which were funded last year to give us clear and decisive advice on the way forward. 

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“That advice told us that we needed to build on the community-based work delivered last year, and make sure that all of our new projects will clearly deliver change for the communities they are working with.

“Funding community projects is part of a long-term strategy to deliver a fundamental culture shift within Scottish society to ensure sectarianism does not form the basis for any way of thinking or working.”

In 2012/13, the Scottish Government funded 37 projects across the country which engaged 13,000 children and young people and 2,000 adults in work to tackle sectarianism. 

All of the projects that received funding will be subject to robust monitoring procedures to ensure that their work is on track, and robust evaluation to measure the impact that their project has had, and the difference that it has made in communities.

Dr Duncan Morrow, chair of the Advisory Group, added: “It is good to see that the advice of the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland is being turned into action.  

“The 18 projects being announced today are a positive first step in the right direction, and one that will help to improve the lives of many communities across Scotland.  

“Tackling sectarianism is a long-term process and I fully recognise that there is still much to be done.  As a group we look forward to engaging with these projects – and with those in future funding rounds – to look at the impact they are having and how we can build on this as part of a long term approach to tackling the root causes of sectarianism in Scotland.”

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