SUFFRAGE: Funding for celebrations

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I would like to commend the News Guardian for its fantastic coverage of the women’s vote centenary and for publicising the Amnesty International campaign to promote the achievements of women making a difference in their local area, (News Guardian, February 8).

There is also government funding available. Buried deep in the budget of March 2017 was an announcement of a £5m fund to celebrate the centenary.

In my view this has been badly publicised by the government, resulting in poor take-up by community groups, and some of the bidding rounds have already closed.

The funding is intended for projects marking the passing of the 1918 Representation of the People Act and to support local groups and charities in celebrating the centenary of women gaining the right to vote.

The grant scheme has two types of funds.

There are about 150 small grants of between £300 to £2,000 for grassroots projects to run events and activities to celebrate the centenary. There will be three bidding rounds during 2018.

Up to 30 large grants of between £2,000 and £125,000 are available. These will fund projects that increase the understanding of, and engagement with, democracy, and encourage women to participate in public life. There will be two bidding rounds during 2018.

In addition, this month Amber Rudd, in her role as Equalities Minister, opened a £1.5m Women’s Suffrage Centenary Grant Scheme for bids of up to £125,000 for projects running throughout the year to encourage communities to celebrate and to help make modern politics more accessible.

Ms Rudd revealed how a further £1m will be invested to mark the important democratic milestone, including a scheme to inspire a new generation of young women by matching them with leaders in their communities.

More information about how to apply is available on the government equalities website or by emailing womensvotecentenaryfund@ecorys.com

Jean McLaughlin

Tynemouth