The government today (Monday 8 September) announced that it will consider new options to improve the Landfill Communities Fund and ensure it reaches the communities and projects it is designed to support.
The Landfill Communities Fund was introduced alongside the Landfill Tax in 1996 and allows landfill site operators to claim a credit against their landfill tax liability for voluntary contributions made directly to environmental bodies. Environmental bodies then use these contributions to fund a variety of projects such as maintenance or improvement of public amenities and conservation of species or habitats.
The Landfill Communities Fund has provided £1.2 billion in total funds for community projects since 1996 but figures show that environmental bodies had accumulated large amounts of unspent money and that money was not reaching communities as quickly as it should.
The government therefore challenged environmental bodies to reduce the amount of unspent funds by 15% by April 2012, which was extended to 25% by April 2014. New figures show that overall environmental bodies have not met the government’s challenge to reduce their unspent funds by 25% by April 2014, with funds only being reduced by 17%.
The government will now consider different options in consultation with landfill site operators, environmental bodies and their regulatory body, ENTRUST to improve the flow of funding to communities.