Funding for projects to tackle sectarianism


A range of projects aimed at tackling sectarianism in communities across Scotland were today given funding totalling more than £3 million.

The funding has been allocated following a robust assessment process supported by the independent expert group set up to look at sectarian issues in Scotland.

A Small Grants Fund has also been established to distribute £350,000 over the next two years to small scale and one-off projects in areas across Scotland.

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

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. It has now had its work extended until September this year, after which it 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.

Minister for Community Safety Roseanna Cunningham said: “We are determined to create a Scotland which is not weighed down by the prejudices of the past.

“Today’s 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.

“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.

Ms Cunningham made the funding announcement at a visit to meet representatives from a range of organisations which have been awarded funding. 

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, said: “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.”