The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the commission) has taken over responsibility for managing grants that have previously been made under Section 44 of the Race Relations Act 1976. Current grants have been made until March 2008. The 2008-09 funding cycle will be an interim year while the commission develops an appropriate, fit-for-purpose grants programme to take effect beyond 2008-09 and to reflect the priorities of the commission.
Section 17 of the Equality Act 2006 is an extension of Section 44 of the Race Relations Act 1976 but also increases the types of organisation that can apply for funding. It is expected that under normal circumstances all the organisations currently in receipt of funding under Section 44 of the Race Relations Act 1976 will be eligible to apply for funding from the commission under Section 17. As long as the race equality council meets the new funding programme requirements and, where applicable, it has met the evaluation and monitoring requirements of its current contracts, it would be able to apply for funding beyond 2008-09.
Race equality councils are extremely important partners for the commission. The commission is working closely with them as well as other organisations in the voluntary and community sector to develop a full funding programme to meet the challenges of the future.