Subsidy control and the voluntary sector

Subsidy control and the voluntary sector

Published : 12/03/21 | Categories: Influencing |

Our new survey on new subsidy control rules is now open – please complete by 19 March.

Since 1 January, there has been a new area of law, subsidy control, that public bodies must consider when administering public funds and assets.

Previous State aid rules were repealed in the UK from 31 December 2020.  However, they continue to apply to any State aid awarded before that date.

UK Government has set out initial technical guidance for public authorities on the current application of the regime. It is consulting on the development of new subsidy control rules for future delivery. WCVA intends to respond to this consultation and is seeking evidence from the voluntary sector to ensure as wide-ranging a response as possible. We have developed a survey to allow your organisation to give its thoughts.

Please complete the survey by 19 March 2021. It should take five to 10 minutes to finish.

Contact David Cook, WCVA Policy Officer, with any questions on

Why this matters to the sector

The diversity of the sector means it contributes towards a wide range of policies including economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development. Public support is provided to a wide range of sector organisations including charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, voluntary organisations and community groups.

With an increased requirement for self-sustainability and an increase in the delivery of public services by sector organisations, more and more civil society organisations are engaging in some level of economic activity and are likely to be classed as what the guidance refers to as ‘economic actors’. Any public support provided will therefore need to be assessed under the subsidy definition – see our guidance for more about this and other aspects of subsidy control, but we recommend reading the technical guidance for a fuller understanding.

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