Local infrastructure body Navca reports first surplus since 2013

The umbrella body has been working to get back into the black after years of recording deficits

The local infrastructure body Navca has reported a surplus in its annual accounts for the first time since 2013.

The membership organisation’s annual report for the year to the end of March shows a more than £100,000 rise in total income from charitable activities to £397,778.

Total expenditure was just over £377,000, meaning it made a surplus of slightly more than £20,000 over the course of the year. 

The charity said that careful financial management had resulted in a clear progression over the past few years that had allowed the organisation to balance its books. 

The umbrella body’s income has fallen dramatically from £2.6m in 2012/13 after several government grants ended and were not replaced.

Since then, it has recorded some significant losses, including a more than £364,000 deficit in 2014/15, but has spent the past few years restructuring to bring it back into the black. 

Judy Robinson, chair of Navca, said: “The annual report this year shows an organisation that has delivered and adapted to dramatically changing circumstances, but has kept a firm fix on its core mission to support voluntary sector infrastructure.  

“Improving Navca’s financial stability has been one of the board’s aims. 

“Towards the end of the year, the picture improved considerably and we will want to build on this for future sustainability.”  

The report acknowledged the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact the crisis has had on Navca’s income streams.

But it also said that the work in recent years to redefine Navca’s business model and strategic focus, and in particular to raise the profile of local infrastructure and the value it brings to local communities and the local VCSE sector, meant that a number of funders recognised the importance of supporting the membership, and by extension its members, at a crucial time.

In her introduction to this year’s report, Robinson also highlighted Navca’s and its members’ involvement in the VCS Emergencies Partnership.

She said: “Here the essence of infrastructure came to the fore: carefully nurtured relationships; organisations trusted not to act out of self-interest and to collaborate; understanding and experience of localities and their different needs and voluntary sectors; and ability to marshal facts and people quickly.

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