Prevent funding mostly goes to undisclosed organisations

Robert Gordon University

The Scottish Government has provided information on some of the non-governmental organisations that it has funded in connection with the Prevent strategy. It has refused to provide a full list, claiming that the information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Scotland Act on national security and law enforcement grounds and that disclosure would endanger the health and safety of individuals working in the organisations it funds.

The total funding given by the Scottish Government to NGOs in support of Prevent delivery in Scotland from 1 April 2011 to 16 July 2016 was £586,676.94, spread over 37 separate grants.  87% of this total was given to undisclosed organisations. The largest single known grant was £50,000 given to Robert Gordon University in 2015/16.

The Scottish Government initially refused to provide any information, but released the following information on 14 September 2016 after carrying out an internal review of its decision.

Financial YearNameFunding Received
2011/12Uni of Edinburgh£1,500
 ELREC£900
2012/13Digital Media Cast£3,500
2013/14St Andrews University (Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence)£975
2014/15Young Scot£4,590
2015/16Ten Boss£7,198
 Robert Gordon University£50,000
2016/17Robert Gordon University£7,500

On 31 March 2017, following a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner, the Scottish Government additionally released some aggregated data on its funding awarded to non-governmental organisations to support Prevent delivery in Scotland. The following table provides the number of Prevent grants awarded in Scotland across financial bands over the period 1 April 2011 to 16 July 2016.

Amount of Prevent FundingNumber of grants awarded
0-£4,99915
£5,000-£9,9994
£10,000-£14,9991
£15,000-£24,99911
Over £25,0006
Total number of grants37
Total grant awards£586,676.94

In addition to the information provided by the Scottish Government, it is known from freely available accounts filed at Companies House that Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre received £15,000 in 2014/15 and £21,000 in 2015/16 for purposes that are clearly intended to support Prevent delivery in Scotland (details here). For part of this time Amina was a signatory to to the 'Together Against Prevent' statement, which includes a pledge to take no Prevent funds.

It seems likely that the undisclosed organisations working on Prevent delivery are mainly organisations that are rooted in or work heavily with minority ethnic communities, especially the Muslim community. Disclosure (see the first table) of Prevent funding of ELREC (Edinburgh and Lothian Regional Equality Council) might appear anomalous, but would have been hard for the Scottish Government to avoid as it had disclosed similar funding for the period 2008/10 in response to a previous FOI request.

Photo: Robert Gordon University by Jackofhearts101. Some Rights reserved