National Citizen Service Trust: Costs

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 21st April 2021.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the full cost of unrecovered monies spent on the National Citizens Services in 2019-20.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The NCS programme is delivered by the National Citizen Service Trust, whose annual report and financial statements for the financial year 2019/20 are publicly available. NCST received a £158.6m grant-in-aid from DCMS in 2019/20. Other income amounted to £3.54m and total expenditure for the year was £156.4m.

As noted in NCST’s 2019/20 Annual Report, the Summer 2020 NCS Programme was officially cancelled because of Covid-19 on 7 April 2020, by which point NCST had paid out £3.6m worth of non-refundable deposits to 44 accommodation venues. A further three accommodation suppliers were further due £3.8m in non-refundable deposits.

These payments were disclosed as events after the reporting date in NCST’s 2019/20 accounts but will be accounted for in 2020-21 accounts because accommodation costs are treated as prepayments. As well as settling contractual commitments for 2020 accommodation, NCST was also able to negotiate, at no additional cost, a break from the second and third year of multi-year accommodation contracts, thereby reducing the future accommodation costs for NCST and the taxpayer.

Covid-19 restrictions meant that NCST was unable to offer its usual residential programme in 2020 but NCST worked with its core programme providers to repurpose the funds already committed to deliver an alternative programme, including digital content, volunteering opportunities and support within schools and colleges. Additionally, service user contributions received by NCST for young people to attend the Summer 2020 programme were refunded.

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