Social divides set to grow if cuts bite

Social exclusion will increase unless government agencies step in
to replace funding to community groups set to run out next

That is the verdict of a report from Invest 2006, which supports
the voluntary sector in the North East.

It says the demise of the single regeneration budget and the loss
of European Social Fund objective 2 cash next year will force some
community groups to close and slash services for disadvantaged

The report estimates that the North East has received £60m in
objective 2 funding since 2001 but it is “extremely unlikely” that
it will receive any money under proposed new grant

It calls for government agencies to make their funding more
accessible to the sector and to target resources at small groups,
given their ability to engage with people alienated from mainstream

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