Shock as youth centre is shut down

SUPPORTERS of a project in Edinburgh which helps young children learn about global citizenship claim it has been cut by the UK government because of "right-wing ideology."

The First Steps to Lasting Change project has been forced to shut down a year after it launched because the Department for International Development (DfID) stopped its 190,000 funding without warning.

The programme, run by the Scottish Development Education Centre, based in Leith, trained students who were preparing to take jobs working with early years children to help them teach the youngsters about understanding global issues.

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Susan McIntosh, co-ordinator of Scotdec, said the sudden withdrawal of funding was a shock.

"The project had been a success," she said.

Edinburgh North and Leith Labour MP Mark Lazarowicz, who has written to DfID and raised the lost grant in an early day motion at parliament, said: "I am very concerned about this. It seems unfortunate that this project may have been cut as a result of right-wing ideology."

International development secretary Andrew Mitchell claimed that it was an issue of priorities.