Places of worship ask for anti-hate crime funding

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More than 50 applications for funding to protect places of worship from hate crime have been received in the wake of the Westminster terror attack.

Fifty-five applications - including 25 from mosques - have been made since the security funding scheme reopened on April 3, according to figures revealed by Home Office minister Sarah Newton.

The scheme closed on May 29, but Ms Newton said late applications were allowed following the recent terror attacks.

The minister made the announcement in answer to written questions by shadow equalities minister Paula Sherriff.

Ms Newton said: "To date a total of 55 bids have been received for the second year, 25 of which have been from mosques.

"An independent advisory panel consisting of faith representatives, police and security advisers will meet on July 3 to consider the bids and recommend to the Home Office which bids to take forward."

She also confirmed that an additional £1 million would be made available for the protection of places of worship.

Funding for 59 places of worship were approved in last year's scheme, which was open between July and October.

Ms Newton said security works had been completed on 53 places of worship as part of the first year of the scheme - out of 59 places which were approved funding.

London has been hit by two terror attacks since the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March, while in Manchester, 22 people were killed when a bomb was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in May.