One quarter of London charities are in ‘unsuitable’ premises

21 Nov 2018 News

Almost a quarter of London-based charities are in unsuitable premises, according to a new report published today.

Some 24 per cent of the 138 charities surveyed for London Charity Property Matters, which was published today by Ethical Property Foundation, said that their premises were “not in the right condition” or are “not suitable for their purposes”.

This is a higher proportion than the 20 per cent of charities in England and Wales overall who said this in a recently published companion survey.

Some 40 per cent of London charities rent privately, more than the just 33 per cent in England and Wales overall.

Antonia Swinson, chief executive of Ethical Property Foundation, said the higher proportion of charities renting privately in the capital was due to local authorities failing to offer cheaper rates.

She said: “As London’s boroughs move towards more commercial rents, so we are seeing a shift towards renting from the private sector and problems finding funding to cover core costs.

“These results are a wake-up call: property is not an extra but is a vital part of delivering social mission.”

‘Higher spend outside the capital’

However, some figures suggested charities in London had less property issues than those in the rest of England and Wales.

Meanwhile, 28 per cent of London charities said that property issues were a high or very high risk barrier to delivering their charitable objectives, a lower proportion than in England and Wales overall.

Some 17 per cent of London respondents said they spend more than a fifth of their annual expenditure on property costs and 8 per cent spend more than a quarter.

This is lower than the figures for England and Wales overall, with 23 per cent spending more than a fifth and over 15 per cent spending more than a quarter of their income on property.

Some 29 per cent of London respondents reported widespread problems in obtaining core funding for property costs, compared to 32 per cent across England and Wales.

London Charity Property Matters was commissioned by the Ethical Property Foundation in partnership with the City Bridge Trust and Charity Finance Group.

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