Government’s Challenge to reduce the level of unspent funds

17 Dec 2013

In 2010 and 2011, the Government issued Environmental Bodies (EBs) with a Challenge to reduce the level of unspent funds held by 25%. In Budget 2013, the Government extended this challenge until 31 March 2014.

From recent discussions with HM Treasury, they consider the Challenge as something EBs should deliver.  If the Challenge is not met then they will consider taking appropriate action to deal with this issue. From our analysis of the statutory returns we have received as at 31 March 2013, the following table summarises the level of funding held by EBs compared to the baseline figure of 31 March 2010:

Category Funds held 31 March 2010 £million Funds held 31 March 2013 £million

% Change

Funds committed to approved projects   96.75 92.07 -5%
Funds committed to projects not yet approved with ENTRUST 17.14 13.62 -21%
Funds retained for the winding up of the EB: 6.87 7.51 9%
Uncommitted Funds 31.92 36.83 15%
Total (unspent) funds held at the year end 152.68 150.03 -2%


As we move into the last quarter of the year, we consider it is an appropriate time to remind EBs of the Government’s Challenge and to also provide EBs with some guidance as to the action that they can take to reduce the level of unspent funds that they hold.

We have previously issued EBs with good practice guidance. 

We are also aware that a number of EBs have individually already met the Challenge and we consider it is appropriate to share the action they have taken to achieve this objective:

  • Increasing the level of main grant funding awarded by the EB;
  • Introducing a requirement that all approved schemes should start within six months of a formal grant agreement being signed by the EB;
  • Providing additional assistance to project applicants with high value awards to ensure prompt project delivery; and
  • Accepting a lower level of qualifying contributions from their Landfill Operator (LO), or funding from other EBs.

If you have any questions, queries, or require any assistance in helping you to meet the Challenge, please feel free to contact the Regulations team.