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DSC report estimates minimum £243.1m funding gap after Brexit

DSC report estimates minimum £243.1m funding gap after Brexit

A report from DSC into what might mean for UK charities has estimated that it will leave at least a £243.1m gap, and advised steps to help mitigate the effects of leaving Europe.

The report, What does Brexit mean for UK charities’ European Union funding? looks at how much EU funding is at stake, where it comes from, variations across topical and regional areas, government statements about the future of EU funding, and at what policymakers and charities should do.

It estimates that in 2015, UK charities received at least £258.4 million in EU funding. Approximately 295 UK charities were awarded a sum total of £210.9 million under direct management (funds administered directly by the European Commission, and around 113 UK charities also received around £47.5 million from three main European Structural and Investment Funds under shared management.

Out of this, it says, £15.3 million was administered by European Commission Directorates whose work relates specifically to the functioning and development of the itself: funding that will most likely need no replacement after Britain’s departure from the EU. Therefore, it estimates that the minimum ‘funding gap’ that will need filling after withdrawal from the to maintain current programmes amounts to £243.1 million.

The report also warns that variations in funding levels across topics and regions means that the impact of a potential non-replacement of funding could disproportionately affect certain charities, causes or UK home nations.

Recommendations for charities are:

  • Identify your potential exposure to a loss of EU funding as part of strategic planning, involving your board if there is a significant risk. Look for partners that may be in a similar situation, in your sector as well as across sectors.
  • Provide evidence to umbrella bodies (in your sector and for the wider charity sector) as well as local MPs in constituencies where EU funding supports key services. Describe the potential impacts of non-replacement of EU funding on your beneficiaries.
  • Ask government via umbrella bodies and local MPs to provide a credible commitment on how EU funding will be replaced in full after the UK’s departure from the EU, and a clear timetable for this.

The full report can be downloaded from the DSC site.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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