English Heritage has introduced a policy banning charities from fundraising on its properties unless they offer reciprocal promotional benefits or a share of the proceeds.
The government agency banned 79-year-old Mary Saunders from collecting money in its Osborne House car park on the Isle of Wight last week. Saunders had spent the past 17 years raising £80,000 there for various charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital. But she was given three months' notice to cease collections, shortly after the new policy was launched in June.
Magdalen Roberts, development director at English Heritage, said the decision was necessary because the Government had ordered the agency to become more financially independent: "Around 80 per cent of our funding is from government, but we give away 30 per cent of that in grants." Roberts said the agency received about one request a week from charity fundraisers wanting to collect on its 400-plus UK sites and insisted that the new policy would improve the ad-hoc nature of its previous system.
She also said the agency would consider working with just one charity each year, or maybe choose regional partners.
Anya Matthews, the agency's corporate communications manager, said: "In future, we would look for financial or promotional benefits from any partnership."