SNP to inject £6.1m into equality groups

EQUALITY groups, including gay and lesbian organisations, are to receive £6.1m in extra Government funding.

Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell has announced the cash boost for equality and gender issues groups.

The money will be spent on schemes working with women's groups, people with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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Maxwell said the funding was a symbol of the Government's commitment to a "fair and inclusive" Scotland. It will be spent over the next three years, and will see 3m go to nine projects tackling sex equality and sex discrimination. A further nine projects in the LGBT sector will share 1.7m.

Projects to assist disability organisations and disabled people will receive 1.4m.

Funding for gender equality will go to projects working in areas such as the gender pay gap as well as schemes helping women into employment though flexible working. Cash will also be spent on a helpline run by Amina, the Muslim Women's Resource Centre.

There will also be funding for a scheme to combat domestic abuse in households where gay, lesbian, and transsexual people live.

Maxwell said: "The Scottish Government believes a successful Scotland is civilised, fair and inclusive and provides equal opportunity and choice for all its people.

"The kind of Scotland I want to live in, is a Scotland in which all people can benefit from all the country has to offer."