UK cuts WRAP funding by ₤21m, project closures possible

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biodegradable waste

The UK is to slash funding to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) by almost ₤21m (€24.6m) next year but the organisation remained confident it would have enough cash to deliver its major objectives.

However, a WRAP spokeswoman told FoodProductionDaily.com it was “entirely possible”​ that some of its projects could be scrapped as a result of the cutbacks.

Cuts

The body received confirmation yesterday from the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that its financial backing for 2011/12 was being cut by 28 per cent to ₤34.7m – compared to ₤48.1m this year. The department also announced it was jettisoning funds it gives to WRAP for capital expenditure, which this year totalled ₤7.4m.

The cuts were announced as part of the Government’s multi-billion pound strategy to rein in expenditure. The cash reductions, described by the WRAP spokeswoman as a “significant dip”,​ appeared to come as no surprise to the waste reduction agency which said they were in line with its expectations.

On top of the Defra cutbacks, WRAP said it would also be delivering savings this year in excess of ₤7.5m thanks “in part"​ thanks to meeting some of its current targets early.

Programme reductions?

The body declined to give any details on which of its programmes could be hit by the cuts but said it was “entirely possible that some projects would close”.

“The Business Plan development is a still a work in progress so again we can’t make any further comment just now,”​ added the spokeswoman.

But she added that its two key areas for the next business plan, currently being put together, would remain reducing waste to landfill with particular focus on biodegradable waste and minimising resource use in products and buildings.

The body sounded a more optimistic note with regard to funding expectations from the three devolved government assemblies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – which provided around half of its total ₤100m funding in 2010. Cash from these sources was still expected to play an important role in future although levels had still not been confirmed, said WRAP.

The uncertain financial environment looks likely to continue over the next five years as the organisation said it had received no confirmation of its funding for 2012 – 2015. While it had been given "indicative allocations” ​from Defra to help in future planning, it said these were​“subject to change”.

Liz Goodwin, WRAP CEO, said “We are pulling together an ambitious business plan for the next four years - we’re confident it will be sufficiently resourced by our four key funders to deliver the necessary impacts to help the UK become more resource efficient.”

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