Finance: Wales receives a funding increase

Local government funding to the voluntary sector in Wales has risen dramatically over the past two years, according to new research.

The country's 22 local authorities provided funding worth £125m to Welsh charities and voluntary organisations in 2003/4, or £42 per head of population.

In 2001/2, the figure was much lower, at £68m. This equates to only £23 per head of population.

Although researchers say that part of the increase can be attributed to undercounting in 2001/2, there has still been a large rise, in real terms, in the levels of support.

Tom Jones, chairman of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said: "Local government remains the primary long-term source of funding for many local voluntary groups. Funding in Wales is now at a level comparable with Scotland and England."

KEY POINTS

- In 2003/4, Welsh charities received £125m in funding from local councils

- In 2001/2, this figure was £68m

- Funding is made through grants and commissioned services

- £24m in rates relief also goes to voluntary organisations.

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