Income at body that runs National Citizen Service has more than halved since 2019

Income at the trust that runs the National Citizen Service has fallen by more than 50 per cent in four years, data shows.

Government documents show that the National Citizen Service Trust is to receive £72.1m in government funding in 2022/23, down from £158.6m in 2019/20.

The figure was published this week by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the trust’s business plan for the year to March 2023.

The NCS was introduced by then-Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011, with the promise that it would provide youth activities and excursions for thousands of young people every year.

More than £1.5bn has been spent on the scheme in total to date.

But the NCS Trust, which was established as a Royal Charter body in 2018, admitted last year that its future was at risk, when it delayed announcing a budget while the government reviewed plans for youth services.

At the time, the trust’s accounts said there was a “material uncertainty” about the continuation of the scheme.

The trust also hit trouble in 2020 after it was taken to court by charity The Challenge in a dispute over a contract to deliver some of its services. The NCS Trust eventually agreed to pay the charity £2.8m.

The Challenge, which had already gone into administration by this stage, said the NCS Trust had “bled it dry”.

The trust received £158.6m from the government in 2019/20, as well as £3.5m in other funding.

It was allocated £131.5m in 2020/21, documents show, but received just £75.4m after Covid-19 hit its events.

The NCS Trust did not respond to a request for further information on its finances.

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