Charities face up to extra licensing fee prospect

PUBLISHED: 15:42 29 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 June 2010

CHARITIES in East Devon could be forced to pay an extra £2.2m in licensing fees if they want to play music at fundraising discos and tea dances. The Government has decided charities will no longer be exempt from paying one of two licensing bodies if they

CHARITIES in East Devon could be forced to pay an extra £2.2m in licensing fees if they want to play music at fundraising discos and tea dances.

The Government has decided charities will no longer be exempt from paying one of two licensing bodies if they play recorded music in their own premises.

It means up to £2.2m that would normally be spent on vital services for communities across the South West could instead be spent on royalty payments.

The real coast could be much higher with a number of small local groups and charities unable to pay for a license will cancel their fundraising events.

Liz Atkins, head of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations - a body leading a campaign against the rule change, said many charities run on shoestring budgets of less than £10,000 a year.

She added: "They rely on these small fundraising events to help them survive.

"This is a shameful way to treat voluntary organisations that help some of the most disadvantaged people in our society.

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