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Welsh Government pledges support


02 Dec 16

ABCUL has welcomed a commitment by the Welsh Government to provide continued financial support to credit unions in Wales up to April 2018.

In a statement made this week, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children Carl Sargeant AM (pictured) said that £422,334 would be made available to Welsh credit unions in 2017/18. This maintains funding at the same level as 2016/17.

As with previous support, the funding will be directed towards the aim of helping the Government meet its financial inclusion policy goals. However, the statement also makes clear that the money will also be available to credit unions to pursue growth and sustainability for the sector as well as support greater co-operation between credit unions.

In his statement, the Cabinet Secretary highlighted the importance of the Welsh credit unions’ efforts to develop their first independent Credit Union Strategy for Wales, saying: "It was encouraging to see a Credit Union Strategy published in March 2016, developed by credit unions themselves, which demonstrated a collective sense of purpose. It is imperative that credit unions continue to work to support each other by sharing best practice...  Welsh Government funding will also help credit unions to work towards the aims in their strategy.”

A new structure for the distribution of the funding will be introduced in 2017/18 that will replace the revenue grant funding that Welsh credit unions have received in the past. The details of this new approach have yet to be announced.

Responding to the announcement, ABCUL’s Policy Officer for Wales Joseph Allen said: “We welcome the continued funding from the Welsh Government. We see it as a vote of confidence not just in the way that credit unions have strengthened and developed in Wales in recent years but also of the steps that we have taken to work collaboratively across the sector for the common good.”

“We look forward to working with the Welsh Government in the coming weeks on the details of the future funding agreement.”

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