The Royal British Legion has said it will free up £66m in funds raised from the sale of property over the next three years, to allow it to be spent as unrestricted money, according to its accounts for the year to September 2014.
At 30 September 2014 the British Legion held £66m in branch property trust funds, but this money is restricted and cannot be held as part of the charity's general reserves. It has now developed a strategy to free up the funds over the next three years for general expenditure.
The Legion holds a further £71m in an investment property reserve.
Last year the Legion's level of reserves dropped to less than three weeks’ spending after it was forced to reclassify around £150m as restricted funds.
The Legion redefined its reserves to include a third pot of money, its central benevolent fund, which at 30 September 2014 was £15.6m.
“Resolving the branch property trusts issue remains a priority for the Legion. We will seek to ensure that all our funds can be used to support our beneficiaries in the way they were intended,” the report said.
Income up £9m
The Legion’s income increased by £9m in the year, according to the accounts.
Total income for the year was £133.5m, up from £124.6m in 2013. Voluntary income was £82.3m in 2014, which was up from £75.6m the year before.
The charity’s expenditure for the year was £115m.
The highest paid member of staff earned between £140,000 and £150,000, the same level as in the previous year.