New forum to coordinate Welsh charities' response to Brexit

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action says the new group will give charities in Wales a voice in Brexit debates

A Welsh Brexit civil society forum has been created to coordinate the voluntary sector's response to leaving the European Union.

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University secured £97,000 funding for 15 months from the Legal Education Foundation to jointly run the initiative, which was unveiled at yesterday's gofod3 event in Cardiff.

Anna Nicholl, director of strategy and development at the WCVA, said the forum would give the Welsh third sector a voice in Brexit debates.

Nicholl said there were real concerns about the impact of leaving the EU on voluntary sector funding.

Wales has been awarded £2bn in EU structural funds for 2014-20, which is targeted towards helping poorer regions.

Nicholl said she was unclear whether the UK government's proposed shared prosperity fund, which will replace EU structural funds, would be as generous, or show similar support for less well-off areas.

"There has been little in the way of support to help the third sector in Wales to effectively engage with and influence the Brexit debate," she said.

"The sector in Wales lacks capacity to access legal or even policy expertise. This project aims to address this."

The forum, she added, would appoint a coordinator to deal with Brexit queries from charities and direct legal questions to the governance centre.

It will also connect third sector organisations with experts to stimulate debate, share knowledge, develop shared positions and take coordinated action.

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