New £7m Fund to Improve Equality and Human Rights in Scotland

Managed by Inspiring Scotland, the new funding programme aims to support civil society organisations and partners to develop, embed and mainstream equality and human rights within policy and practice in Scotland in line with the ambitions of relevant Scottish Government strategies and the National Performance Framework.

The Fund will provide £7 million annually for three years from October 2021 to September 2024. There is no set maximum or minimum level of funding. Funding for future years will depend upon the Annual Spending Review and Scottish Budget.

The criteria for the Fund are broad and there is not a set list of activities which will realise the vision and aims of the programme. However potential activity that is of particular interest includes:

Community programmes. This includes activity by a range of organisations from grassroots to national bodies that addresses endemic inequality and supports people and communities to address and overcome barriers to participation and access.

Infrastructure support and development. This includes activity by organisations which operate as independent partners to the Scottish Government. As partners they respond to requests for input and provide strategic advice, support, analysis and challenge on equality and human right issues across a range of policy areas.

Single organisations can apply for funding for core, existing, new and development work. Partnership proposals should focus on delivery of a project or programme of work. Core staffing costs to support partnership development can also be included.

Commenting, Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said:

“This fund will support the vital efforts of expert organisations to break down barriers, empower individuals and communities, and build a fairer Scotland which has equality and human rights at its heart.

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted those who already experience inequality, and shone a light on the systemic and structural inequalities that continue to permeate society.

“We want to see a Scotland which is inclusive, free from discrimination, where the human rights of everyone are respected, protected and fulfilled.”

The deadline for applications is noon on 14 May 2021.

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