Budget allocations announced for DEFRA, UK research councils and HEFCE

This afternoon government departments have published details of their budget allocations for 2011-2015. This follows on from higher-level budgets allocated in the Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review published in November.

DEFRA has outlined the annual expenditure for each of its Arm’s Length Bodies – including Natural England, the Environment Agency and Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) – over the next four years. £45 million of budget cuts arm’s length bodies – approximately 5% in-year reductions- has already been decided for 2010/11.

Expenditure on the Environment Agency flood protection programme is expected to be over £2.1 billion between 2011 to 2015- or £540 million per year – roughly equivalent to 8% reduction in spending compared to the previous four years. Capital expenditure on flood protection will also be cut by over £100million by 2012. Natural England will have its resource budget cut by an average of £10million per year, with the deepest cuts taking place in 2012 (£12.8million) and 2013 (£14.2million).

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also published its annual grant letter, detailing expenditure for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) from 2011-12 to 2014-15. The full grant letter also indicates expenditure for 2012-13, the year that a new system for student finance will be implemented.

Science and research funding allocations were also published today by BIS, on behalf of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable and Universities Minister, David Willetts MP. Annual research council capital expenditure will decrease by over £212,000 over the next 4 years- up to 46% less than in 2010-11. However the Medical Research Council – which supports and directs medical research in universities and hospitals across the country- will see its resource budget increase by up to 5%, to approximately £574.6 million per year over the course of the spending review. The new UK Space Agency will also be allocated resource funding of up to £769.7 million overall. Roughly £205.6 million will be spent on the space agency in 2011/12.