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Community Relations

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 5th May 2016.

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Photo of Karl McCartney Karl McCartney Conservative, Lincoln

To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on the Near Neighbours programme.

Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church Commissioners welcome the Government’s recent announcement of a further £1.5 million for the Near Neighbours programme, which is administered by the Church Urban Fund. This third round of funding for Near Neighbours will help it build on its successful track record of delivering projects up and down the country to transform local areas by strengthening relationships between those of different religious and ethnic backgrounds on issues of shared concern.

The Near Neighbours programme has offered small grants between £250 and £5,000, providing seed capital for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities. The Near Neighbours grants fund has so far awarded seed capital worth £3.66m to over 1,120 projects. These projects have impacted the lives of 941,000 people and 71% of projects have continued to run after the initial seed capital was spent. All Near Neighbours projects are designed to change hearts and minds by bringing together different communities within a neighbourhood so that they can work together on issues of shared concern and common values.

More information on Near Neighbours can be found on its website at: https://www.cuf.org.uk/how-we-help/near-neighbours

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