Action Cancer and Ulster Cancer Foundation merger collapses

A proposed merger between two of Northern Ireland's largest cancer charities has come to a halt despite support from staff and trustees

A proposed merger between Northern Irish cancer charities Ulster Cancer Foundation and Action Cancer has collapsed after it failed to garner the required level of support from Action Cancer's membership.

The merger, announced in February, would have brought together two of the largest charities in the province. UCF's income in 2005/06 was just over £3.5m.

Professor Roy Spence, chair of UCF, expressed "regret and disappointment" that the "vision of a new and enhanced cancer charity for Northern Ireland has not been realised.

"Our board, staff and supporters have all been fully behind the proposed merger, which we believe would have improved existing services, created new benefits and saved money," he said.

Spence said UCF remained "committed to the long-term ideal of a new cancer charity for Northern Ireland that would bring together the best of both organisations".

He added: "The most important issue is not what works best for the charity; it is what works best for the community in need."

In a statement, Action Cancer said it would continue to explore alternative ways it could "work with UCF and other cancer charities to achieve greater efficiency while at the same time advancing our combined contribution to the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer".

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