Six new jobs are being created at the Anti-Racist Cumbria organisation thanks to a £200,000 funding boost.

The money – to be delivered over three years - is coming from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which exists to tackle injustice, inequality and systemic racism.

As the funding was announced this week, officials at the Foundation said the application from Anti Racist Cumbria showed that its aims resonated with its own objectives - to strengthen the bonds in communities, help local people build vibrant, confident places where they can fulfil their creative, human, and economic potential and to contribute to a just and anti-racist society.

Laura Lines, the Foundation's Funding Manager, said: “Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is committed to tackling injustice and inequality, and to addressing structural and systemic racism in the UK both as an organisation and through the work we support.

"We are delighted to support this pioneering work with unrestricted funding, so that Anti Racist Cumbria can evolve and develop their plans over the next three years.”

At last week’s Anti Racist Cumbria Summit, Anti Racist Cumbria announced their plans for the county, which centres around supporting those who want to become anti-racist whilst campaigning for anti-racism.

The organisation has created an 8-Step Programme to support businesses and organisations to become anti-racist.

It is also enhancing its existing work with schools and creating grassroots projects that engage local communities to embrace anti-racism in ways that is relevant to them.

The organisation has also embraced an innovative approach to paying its staff, announcing a completely flat pay structure which is a unique part of their employee ethos.

All staff in non-trainee roles will be paid exactly the same salary, including the chief executive officer Janett Walker.

She said: "One of the things that Covid showed us is that those who are genuinely essential are often overlooked and underpaid.

"We believe that every part of our work is as important as the other. Why should I be paid more than anyone else when our community work and social media posts are as crucial as our meetings with MPs and business leaders? By flattening the pay-structure we lead by example; we walk what we talk, and we walk together, being paid the same empowers each of us to be valued and to contribute.

"We are humbled and grateful to have been granted the funding from Esmée Fairbairn to help make our plans for a county a reality, a place where everyone can contribute fully and reach their full potential. It is an endorsement of our work to date and approach to making changes in the future and we give thanks to Esmée Fairbairn for their faith in us.”

The new jobs being created will be announced and advertised in the coming months and people from all backgrounds will be encouraged to apply.

* See our Agenda article on page 12.