More Government funding announced for the third sector to improve race equality and cohesion

Community organisations committed to supporting and improving community relations and race equality will gain access to a new funding pot of up to £660,000 with the announcement today of the successful recipients of the third round of the Connecting Communities Plus Community Grants.

The grants are the latest instalment of an £18 million funding programme for Third Sector groups operating at local, regional and national levels which has to date already supported 330 groups.

Many of these organisations will today be attending a major national conference to showcase their work and engage with the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Third Sector Minister Phil Hope.

First announced in 2005 as part of the Government's 'Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society' strategy, Community Grants are flexible grants awarded to very small and local voluntary and community organisations.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said
"Tackling race inequality remains an essential part of this Government's programme and a major personal priority for me. That's why Connecting Communities Plus looks to help charities working on race, faith or cohesion grow, prosper and reach out in ways that Government simply cannot.'

The conference will showcase the work of the eleven national level organisations - including Black Boys Can, Runnymede Trust, and Operation Black Vote - who have been funded for three years, sharing in a total of around £4 million each year. Communities and Local Government has supported these organisations as they have a track record in delivering improvements to race equality and a commitment to contribute to government and public understanding of how to reduce inequality and discrimination.

Project level grants have provided funding for an additional 70 projects over three years spread right across the country on delivering improved services to local communities in the fields of race equality and community cohesion. This funding totals a further £11 million.

Community grants are flexible grants for the smallest voluntary and community organisations. Hazel Blears has today announced the third round of the smaller grants.

Previous projects funded through the community grants have seen activities funded across the country such as sports club being awarded money to run a girls football club project to help girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in sport to overcome anti-social behaviour.

In the latest and third round of the Connecting Communities Plus grants 68 projects across the country will receive funding, bringing the total investment over three years to £3 million.

Improving Opportunity Strengthening Society (IOSS) is the Governments Strategy to increase race equality and community cohesion. Responsibility for the strategy moved from the Home Office to Communities and Local Government in May 2006. For further information about IOSS please see

The Connecting Communities Plus grants programme is a 3 year, £18 million programme to support delivery of IOSS. Connecting Communities Plus has three types of grants: Strategic, Project and Community For further information on strategic and project grants please see

Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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