§ Mr. Bill Walker
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to assist the voluntary sector in Scotland to promote racial equality and a reduction of racial disadvantage.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
I am pleased to announce today the introduction of a new ethnic minority grant to assist voluntary organisations in Scotland with projects designed to promote racial equality and reduce racial disadvantage.
The new grant which has a budget of £100,000 will complement the existing funding regimes such as the urban programme and the support given to ethnic minority projects under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. The new grant will in particular assist the voluntary sector to operate projects on a Scottish or regional level which cannot readily be funded under existing arrangements.
The Government have long recognised the benefits that can accrue from an active voluntary sector and the new grant will support voluntary organisations in their efforts to encourage and co-ordinate assistance to ethnic communities. My officials will be writing to relevant voluntary organisations with details of the scheme.