Land sale boosts Epilepsy Society's income to likely record high

The Epilepsy Society has reported what is likely to be a record income level after making an almost £8.5m profit on a land sale, new figures show.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 31 March 2019 show that income hit £26.4m, compared with £17.2m in the previous year.

The accounts say that a "small tranche of land" was sold for £11.6m to Audley Developments to expand a care village for older people in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire.

It appears that the £8.4m profit from that sale has accounted for much of the rise in income, although donations and legacies also rose by more than 40 per cent, from £2m to £2.9m.

A spokeswoman for the charity said that its board agreed to create a designated reserve for the proceeds of the land sale, and some of the profits had already been used reduce the deficit on the society’s defined-benefit pension scheme.

"Expenditure from the remaining reserve will be restricted to specific areas, including essential upkeep of our buildings and to fund life-changing research for people with epilepsy," the spokeswoman added.

Figures on the Charity Commission's online register of charities show it is the first time in at least six years that the society's income has topped £20m a year.

The charity was unable to confirm before publication of this story whether the latest figure was an all-time record high, but it appears likely based on recent figures. 

Expenditure was £18m in 2018/19, compared with £17m in the previous year. 

The charity’s latest accounts say that new events, such as the Broadgate Tower Abseil, were introduced in 2018/19 and the charity has worked on connecting with a greater number of people through digital channels, both of which boosted fundraising income.

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