Reprieve for women's resource centre
First Minister Alex Salmond has marked International Women's Day by announcing a £600,000 reprieve for a professional women's centre whose funding had been removed by the UK Government.
The Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) at Napier University was set up in 2005 to encourage, train and support women working in the sectors. Funding for its parent body - the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET - was withdrawn by the Westminster government at the end of 2011, threatening the future of the Edinburgh centre.
However, speaking during First Minister's Questions this afternoon, the First Minister announced that the Scottish Government will safeguard the centre's future for the next three years.
Commenting, Mr Salmond said:
"The Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology has made an important contribution to encouraging women to work in the very fields our economy will increasingly rely on in years to come.
"The UK Government cancelled its funding and I'm very pleased today - International Women's Day - to confirm that the Scottish Government is to take over funding of this valuable initiative.
"We will fund the centre with £200,000 a year over the next three years, to carry on its vital work training, supporting and encouraging more women in their careers.
"On International Women's Day it's important to remember that progress must continue to be made to ensure women play a full part across the workforce. In announcing this funding reprieve, I'm pleased that the centre will be able to carry on its important work."