Published: 14 June 2018

New figures from the Association of Medical Research Charities show that medical research charities have maintained a collective spend of £1.6bn on research in the UK in 2017 despite a tough Brexit environment. More individual charities increased their spend over the past year (77 charities) than decreased (57 charities).

The charities’ combined research spend makes up nearly half (47%) of publicly funded medical research, demonstrating that charity funding is paramount to UK research.

Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive of AMRC notes that these findings clearly indicate the resilience of the medical research charity sector but cautions that the UK’s research landscape is in a period of significant change: “Uncertainty around the impact of Brexit continues and charities are faced with new rules and public scrutiny. This is a complex backdrop against which charitable funding must continue. This shifting environment presents challenge for all but is especially difficult for small or medium sized charities with more limited resources.

We are proud of the seminal role charities play in UK medical research and this uncertain landscape means that highlighting the value of the sector is more important than ever. AMRC is committed to continuing to campaign for the best possible environment for health and medical research charities to make sure they can put patients first in everything they do. I look forward to working with our member charities to harness the potential impact for those affected by ill health and disease.”


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Notes to editors

The facts in this press release were sourced from research expenditure data for the previous financial year (2016-17) provided to AMRC by 142 member charities during an annual data collection exercise.

Further information about this data can be found in AMRC’s new infographic and research expenditure briefing.

About the AMRC (

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has been the national membership organisation for the health and medical research charity sector for the last 30 years, influencing the policy and research environments by harnessing the collective strengths of our members, to demonstrate the sector’s positive impact on health and wellbeing.

AMRC has 140 members which include the largest health and medical charities in the UK: the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and the Wellcome Trust. All members, large and small, work to the same high standards ensuring that every pound they spend on research is invested in lifesaving research of the very highest quality.