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A CENTRE which helps victims of sexual assault has been saved from closure after having its Government funding reduced.

Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove announced yesterday that he has stepped in to help the Hull Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Service.

The centre was set to close and staff were given redundancy notices after the Ministry of Justice reduced its annual funding from £30,000 to £20,000.

Mr Grove has now agreed to provide £10,000 per year for the next two years.

He said: “When I was elected I made a pledge to put victims of crime at the forefront of everything I do, so I was very concerned to hear this service was facing closure. Since I replaced the former police authority I have managed to make significant savings in the running of my office, and I am delighted to be able to use some of that money to support the work of Hull Rape Crisis and keep this centre open.”

The service, which has been running for 30 years, provides counselling and support for women who have been victims of rape or sexual abuse.

Centre co-ordinator Charlotte Kemp said a further £10,000 would still be needed to “keep the service running effectively six days a week.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “After funding cuts from the Ministry of Justice put the future of Hull Rape Crisis Centre at risk, it’s a great relief that we’ve been able to work together locally to find funding to keep the current level of service and prevent victims of rape having to travel 60 miles to Leeds.”