A £30,000 fund has been established in the Highlands to encourage greater understanding across cultures in Highland. Over the next 18 months, the Cultural Bridges Fund will be used to promote improved community relations between new residents, minority ethnic community groups and the wider community.
The Highland Council is administering the Fund on behalf of Highland Wellbeing Alliance, the community planning partnership for the area, which is providing the funding. Depending on the evaluation of the programme and the availability of funding, the CBF may extend beyond the initial 18 months.
Funding is available for projects and programmes taking place in The Highland Council area.
Councillor Sandy Park, Convener of The Highland Council, said the CBF aligned with Highland 2007’s definition of culture; arts, sports, heritage, environment, language and science.
He said: “I warmly welcome this initiative, which will let us all benefit from sharing our cultural experiences. It is part of a wider programme of services developed by the Wellbeing Alliance aimed at welcoming migrants to the region and helping them to settle in.”
William Roe, chair of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: "People from other countries are making a significant contribution to the economic wellbeing of the Highlands. This initiative is another valuable step to bring about greater integration between new and existing residents and to share appreciation of our respective cultures during Highland 2007.”
It is an essential requirement of the fund that all projects applying for support seek to promote improved community relations among new residents, minority ethnic community groups and the wider community. Constituted community groups, limited companies, co-operatives, charities, local authorities or partnerships of these can apply.
Grants of up to £2, 000 will be considered up to a maximum of 100% eligible project costs. For applications over £2,000, funding of up to a maximum of 80% of total eligible project costs may be considered. The normal maximum level of grant will be £8,000 but it is anticipated that most awards will be considerably less than this.
The deadline dates for applications are 30th October 2007, 31st December 2007 and 31st March 2008. All projects must be completed with grants claimed within one year of the award being made. For further information people should contact Jeannie Graham on 01463 702064.