HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 cc792-4W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which local initiatives have benefited from the Home Office Challenge Fund; and how much each local initiative has received. [150191]

Fiona Mactaggart

In 2003–04 almost £2 million will have been allocated to 43 projects, both new recipients and existing ones, throughout the United Kingdom. These projects cover a range of innovative local schemes to help refugees play a full and active role in their new communities, for example through assisting access to the job market, acquisition of employable skills, English language tuition, and supporting families through education and training.

More information on all the selected projects is available on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate Home Office website.

List of organisations awarded grants from the 2003–04 challenge fund
East of England
Employability Forum 28,650
East of England Consortium 47,300
East London Somali Association 43,585
Evelyn Oldfield Unit 31,500
Refugees Into Jobs 93,297
Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund 40,000
Common Purpose 32,000
Ethiopian Community Centre in the UK 27,917
South London Tamil Welfare Group 25,750
Praxis 71,496

List of organisations awarded grants from the 2003–challenge fund
Hackney Playbus 13,390
RETAS 73,812
The Presswise Trust 90,640
FOREF (Friends of Refugees Forum) 12,950
Sierra Leone Refugee
Welfare Association 21,750
Holy Cross Centre Trust 31,500
Council for Assisting Refugee
Academics 30,000
North East
Newcastle City Council 31,800
Mental Health Matters 62,000
Stockton District Advice and Information Service 12,588
North West
North West Consortium 63,189
Toxteth Community College 44,954
Liverpool Family Service Unit 64,714
North West Consortium 14,041
British Red Cross (running two projects) 88,000
Scottish Refugee Council 19,489
Prince's Trust 44,800
Glasgow ESOL Forum 35,506
South East
Care co-operatives 19,570
Thanet Early Years Project 14,404
Kent Refugee Action Network 39,140
Community Self Build Agency 33,000
South West
Women's Business Development Agency 50,000
Cardiff City Council 51,272
SOVA 78,093
West Midlands
Roselodge—CIP 116,000
Wolverhampton Refugee Settlement and Integration 67,364
Midland Refugee Council 56,650
Yorkshire and Humberside
Refugee Lifeline 40,000
Yemeni Economic and Training 50,000
CALTEC 41,541
Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium 46,014

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Home Office Challenge Fund will continue indefinitely; what funding will be made available in each of the next five years; and what criteria are used in allocating funding from the Challenge Fund. [150192]

Fiona Mactaggart

The Challenge Fund was introduced in 2001 to support local projects helping those who have fled persecution and been granted asylum in the UK to integrate into their new communities. Initially a three-year scheme, the Home Office announced in December 2003 that it planned to continue the Challenge Fund for the foreseeable future.

The availability and amount of funding over the next five years is dependent on future Spending Reviews and on evidence of how beneficial the funding stream has been to support the integration of refugees. It is currently expected that £3 million will be made available for both 2004–05 and 2005–06.

When allocating funding, consideration is given to the relevance of the project to the Home Office integration strategy, outlined in "Full and Equal Citizens", to its cost-effectiveness, and to the expertise and reliability of the applicant and any partner, organisations; applications must, of course, be focused on refugees and those granted Humanitarian or Discretionary Leave. Projects are subjected to a programme of monitoring and evaluation in order to identify those projects that are most effective in helping to integrate refugees.