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Cancer Research UK cuts research budget by half

Howard Lake | 8 December 2020 | News

Cancer Research UK is slashing £45 million from its research budget, it announced today.
The charity has experienced a drop in income during the coronavirus pandemic, partially due to the closure of its charity shops and cancellation of many fundraising events. As a result, the organisation is spending half of what it had planned to at this time.
Cancer Research UK has warned that this will slow down future breakthroughs for people with cancer. It also threatens the charity’s chances of reaching the milestone of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.
During his 2020 Spending Review at the end of November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak committed to investing £14.6 billion in research next year. However it is unclear how much of this will be earmarked for medical research.
Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director of research and innovation at Cancer Research UK, said: “The recent Government spending review was a step in the right direction for cancer services in the UK, but we need urgent clarification to what measures are being put in place to support medical research charities through the Life Sciences Charity Partnership Fund. As a country that relies so heavily on charity-funded research, the UK risks weakening its reputation as a world-leader in science if charities don’t receive the right support.”
This follows the £44 million cut made to grants by Cancer Research UK at the start of the pandemic. The charity expects to make similar reductions next spring unless its income gaps are plugged by government support or more charitable giving. If nothing changes, Cancer Research UK have said they could be spending £150 million less per year by 2024.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “Covid-19 has slowed down our efforts to beat cancer. The closures of our charity shops and the cancellation of our fundraising events across the country means we have less money available for life-saving research, but we will never stop.”