Charities failing to reach most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, MPs warn

The most disadvantaged communities in England receive less than half the charitable grants as other deprived areas, research released by MPs has found.

They are also less than half as likely to have a registered charity in their local area than the England average.

In addition, they have received half the number of Covid specific grants from charitable foundations during the health crisis than other deprived areas.

The research looked at support in 225 ‘left behind’ areas of deprivation in England.

These ‘left behind area’s are within the most deprived 10% of communities in England based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and also lack social infrastructure such as community centres, transport links and digital connectivity.

Left behind areas received an average of £7.77 in national charitable funding per head between 2004 and May 2021, according to the reserach.

This is less than half of other deprived areas (£19.31) and is also below the England wide average of £12.23.

More than 70 per cent of the left behind areas looked at had less dedicated community space than the England average.

The research has been carried out by Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for left behind neighbourhoods.

“The government has created a number of new funds aimed at levelling up to support those areas of the country that most need investment, but unfortunately these 225 neighbourhoods are set to lose out once again if they do not receive targeted funds to help build the skills and capacity of the people living there to come together and apply for funding,” said Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield and Conservative co-chair of the APPG.

There are 2.4m people living in left behind areas, which are predominantly in coastal areas and the outskirts of former industrial towns and cities in the North and Midlands.

Labour co-chair, Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, added: “Community spaces like the ones these neighbourhoods so desperately lack help to foster local relationships, build social capital and create a sense of place.

“This research demonstrates how important they are as an organising space for communities, enabling local people to come together to make plans to meet the needs of their neighbourhood. It is clear from this research that without these kinds of spaces, ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods will continue to miss out on their fair share of funding.”

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