Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
The Equality and Inclusion Grant was opened to applications from third sector organisations on 1 August and closed on 31 October 2013. I am pleased to say that we had an overwhelming response and applications were received from 191 organisations, submitting proposals for approximately £15.3 million per year in total. The total amount of funding available for the Grant is up to £1.645 million per year.
The grant is for the period 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2017. Its purpose is to fund third sector organisations to contribute to the delivery of the Welsh Government’s strategic equality priorities, in particular the equality objectives within the Strategic Equality Plan; the grant supports people across different protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
I am pleased to announce the successful organisations and projects are:
Age Concern North East Wales, Age Connects Project
British Red Cross, South East Wales Refugee Women Support Programme
Cardiff Circuit of the Methodist Church on behalf of the Trinity Project, Trinity Development Project
Disability Wales, Enabling Wales
Dynamix, Tackling the Tensions, Train the Trainers
National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Balancing Power Project
North Wales Women’s Centre, North Wales Women’s Centre Information & support Service
Royal National Institute for Deaf People, Sensory Inclusion Project
Save the Children Fund, Travelling Ahead Project
Stonewall Cymru, Achieving Equality for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Wales
Swansea YMCA, The Identity Project
Taking Flight Theatre Company, Real Human Being
Victim Support, All Wales Hate Crime/ incident Reporting Centre & Support Service
Welsh Refugee Council, Refugee Inclusion in Wales
Women’s Equality Network Wales, Advancing Women’s Equality in Wales
Youth Cymru, Trans* Form Cymru
The grant will benefit people across Wales. A number of the projects will deliver services on a national basis, while others concentrate their services in areas of particular need.
When the grant was launched, we particularly welcomed applications to support refugees and asylum seekers, Gypsies and Travellers and transgender people. I am pleased that we had some high quality applications in these areas and the funding awarded includes projects that will provide advice and support for these groups.
We also welcomed proposals that would provide a National Third Party Reporting Centre on a pan Wales basis, and to support the development of Centres for Independent Living for disabled people. I am pleased to announce that Victim Support has been awarded funding to deliver a National Third Party Reporting Centre. This will make an important contribution to the Framework for Action on Hate Crime that we will launch this year. It is also very positive that Disability Wales will be supporting the development of Centres for Independent Living.
This funding demonstrates the Welsh Government’s commitment to the principles of fairness and equality and to the further development of equality of opportunity and human rights in Wales. It contributes to our Tackling Poverty Action Plan by reducing inequalities and mitigating the impact of poverty through fair access to services.
I am very conscious of the number of organisations who will be disappointed not to have been successful in their applications. We are working within a very challenging economic climate with constrained funding. Within this context, I was committed to maintaining the level of funding for the Equality and Inclusion Grant over the next three years. I am pleased that we have been able to fund excellent projects through this grant and that we have ensured a strong balance of coverage across the protected characteristics, and a wide geographical spread.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.