Charity bosses in the North East have warned that “Brexit” from the European Union could have knock-on effects on the region’s charitable organisations.

The Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE) estimates that, if Britain leaves the EU, third sector organisations across the region will lose almost £750 million in funding that will come from the EU in the close future. The money will come from three different funding streams which form part of the EU body: the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the ESF (European Social Fund) and the EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development).

Carrie Brooks, VONNE’s communications manager, said that funding from the EU “remains one of the few welcome sources of income for the voluntary sector to deliver their vital work”.

Jessie Joe Jacobs, a local director of Britain Stronger in Europe, said that an exit from the EU “could mean charities close down and scores of people have nowhere to turn to in their hour of need”.