A new £7 million fund to improve equality and human rights in Scotland has been announced by the Scottish Government.

The Equality and Human Rights Fund will support work which advances human rights, promotes equality and tackles discrimination around age, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability and race. 

The fund is open for applications from today until 14 May, and will cover projects over the next three years up to 2024. Successful applications will help identify where there are gaps in service provision and how they can be addressed, as well as highlighting good practice.

Successful applicants will be notified by July, with funding being made available in October 2021. £7 million has been provided for 2021-22. Funding for future years will be dependent on the annual spending review and Scottish Budget.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie commented: "This fund will support the vital efforts of expert organisations to break down barriers, empower individuals and communities, and build a fairer Scotland which has equality and human rights at its heart.

"COVID-19 has significantly impacted those who already experience inequality, and shone a light on the systemic and structural inequalities that continue to permeate society.

"We want to see a Scotland which is inclusive, free from discrimination, where the human rights of everyone are respected, protected and fulfilled."

Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, which will manage the fund, added: "We know that collaboration will be key to the success of this fund and we are looking forward to working and learning with partners across sectors, to embed equality and human rights into policy and practice, support people to exercise their rights, and live free from discrimination.

Details of the fund and how to apply can be found here.