Trading drives 15 per cent rise in Cancer Research UK income

CRUK's total income in 2021/22 was £668.5m, the highest it has been since 2017

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK recorded an income of £668.5m in the year to March 2022, up 15 per cent on 2020/21.

The growth was driven in large part by the recovery of CRUK’s trading, which made £111.5m for the charity compared with about £48m the year before. Coronavirus restrictions meant that charity shops were closed for several months in 2020 and 2021.

The charity's income had dropped in each of the past two years, but has now returned to a size last seen in 2016/17.

CRUK’s income from legacies was slightly down compared with 2020/21, from £213.5m to £206m, while the value of donations rose a small proportion, from £186.2m to £188.7m.

Events income, which had also been badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, more than doubled from £14.6m to £32.1m.

Writing in the annual report, Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of CRUK, said fundraising in the past 12 months had “significantly exceeded our expectation”, but warned that the long-term impact of Brexit and current levels of inflation could affect CRUK’s financial position.

The charity has outperformed its forecasts at the start of the pandemic, when it warned that it might lose as much as £300m between 2020 and 2023.

CRUK’s overall spending rose from £570.6m in 2020/21 to £666m in 2021/22. This included a 12 per cent rise in spending on charitable activities, from £419.4m to £470.9m.

The charity said it plans to spend £1.5bn on cancer research over the next five years.

The number of staff employed by CRUK fell from 3,873 to 3,797 over the year, while spending on wages rose from £90.0m to £92.2m.

Mitchell’s base salary was £247,000, restored after she took a voluntary 20 per cent pay cut during the height of the coronavirus crisis.

The accounts show CRUK spent £900,000 on termination pay to staff in 2021/22, compared with £1.3m the year before.

Mitchell said: “Despite the progress that we’ve made over the past 12 months, we know that the impact of the pandemic on people affected by cancer, and [on] research, will continue to be felt for years to come. 

“There is still a significant backlog of people waiting for tests and treatments, we aren’t making fast enough progress with early diagnosis and cancer survival, and we can’t be satisfied with the slow pace of recovery in clinical research. 

“The next 12 months will be a critical time for us to put cancer back at the top of the agenda, positively influence cancer plans across all four UK nations and shape the UK Government’s 10-year cancer plan.”

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