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A cash boost to battle bigotry

A theatre project working to combat sectarianism has received vital funding. Henry Hepburn reports

A theatre project working to combat sectarianism has received vital funding. Henry Hepburn reports

Two projects working to eradicate bigotry and hatred in Scotland have been awarded a total of pound;125,000 by the Scottish government.

The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow receives pound;116,000 to roll out its "Divided City" project in South Lanarkshire. The project will work intensively with 40 pupils on a stage play based upon Theresa Breslin's book of the same name.

Workshops for another 800 pupils will then be held on the issues raised, with a further 50s0 joining the events via Glow.

The theatre has previously run the Divided City project in Glasgow and has received enthusiastic feedback.

Director Guy Hollands says: "Religious intolerance and sectarianism continue to affect the lives of young people in Scotland today and we believe that drama provides a unique way of exploring these issues.

"Participants will benefit from the experience of taking part in a fully staged musical production and will enjoy the opportunity to engage in a creative process which challenges assumptions and preconceptions. They will almost certainly emerge from it with new friendships and hopefully with some new perspectives."

Community safety and legal affairs minister Roseanna Cunningham also announced that pound;9,000 would go to the Festival of Spirituality and Peace to run a series of events on sectarianism as part of the 2012 festival.

Ms Cunningham made the announcements while attending "Scotland's Apartheid: Can we heal the green and orange sectarian divide?" at the festival.

"Hatred of any kind has no place in modern Scotland and we need to do everything we can to stop it wherever and whenever it occurs, whilst tackling the root causes," she says.

"We need to develop a broad set of actions to tackle it in different ways across society, from grassroots projects in communities, through to education and other initiatives which address the root causes of sectarianism."

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