UK Charities To Lose Funding Post-Brexit

With the future of funding post-Brexit still unclear, charities are now warning about the impact it could have on the voluntary sector in the UK. According to the Directory of Social Change (DSC), charities could be set to lose at least £258 million in funding from the EU, including money currently received from the European Structural Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund.

These crucial funds contribute a substantial proportion of UK funding, with €11.8 billion having been invested since 2014. The full amount that could be lost is still unclear as funds are often distributed to charities via intermediary agencies. Although the limited data makes it hard to analyse the full impact, it’s been estimated the 10% of funding will be lost when Britain leaves the EU in 2019.

The DSC estimates that of the £258 million the UK received from the EU in 2015, England received the majority of funding, with the total being £229 million. Scotland received £26 million in funds, Northern Ireland was given £1.37 million and £1.17 million went to charities in Wales. The bulk of funding went towards charities working in three main areas, which were international development and humanitarian aid, research charities and natural and historical conservation charities.

Some of the organisations set to lose from the loss of EU charities include the Princes Trust, The Francis Crick Institute, The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, The Institute of Food Research, Save the Children, The British Council, The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust, The Scottish Association for Marine Science, the Merseyside Youth Association, and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, along with other UK umbrella bodies for charity organisations, have made calls for the government to create a new funding system for these charities. It says that it’s crucial that the money the ESF was currently receiving needs to be replaced in order to allow charities to continue their work. It’s also been suggested the funding should be replaced from 2019 using dormant assets which have been identified by the Dormant Assets Commission.

The government has made contingency plans for 58 different sectors across the UK for the impact of Brexit, but it’s been revealed that the voluntary sector isn’t one of them. There have been no suggestions made so far by the government as to the effects of Brexit on charities, and whether they will be providing any alternative funding.

The Treasury originally pledged to continue to support projects following the UK’s departure, as long as they were seen as “value for money” and “in line with strategic priorities.” However, no details have been revealed and the future of funding remains unclear to charities and the public. Charities are still hoping that the funds will be replaced and communities will continue to be supported through some type of UK shared prosperity fund.  

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