The National Trust has announced 1,200 jobs are at risk as it seeks to reduce its annual spend and size of its workforce to negate further financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The conservation and heritage charity is expected to lose up to £200 million as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, after it warned almost every aspect of its income had been affected, with all its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes closed for several weeks.
Earlier in May, Farmers Guardian reported a number of National Trust environmental initiatives, such as mass tree planting, were under threat as the charity ran into financial difficulty.
However, with some fearing of the effects such schemes could have on farming businesses, including reducing stocking densities, NFU uplands chairman Thomas Binns said any pause provided time to reflect
on how farmers could be affected by these initiatives in the medium- to long-term.
While the trust has said millions of pounds have already been saved through various measures, such as furloughing staff and deferring projects, it has proposed 1,200 redundancies, equivalent to 2016 workforce levels, in a bid to save almost a fifth of its annual spend.
Staff were told the news today (July 29) as Director General Hilary McGrady opened the 45-day consultation period.
Ms McGrady paid tribute to the charity’s staff, adding: "We would not be making these savings had we not exhausted every other possibility. We need to act now to ensure we are sustainable in the future."
Nearly 40 per cent of the proposed savings (£40 million) will be non-pay spending cuts and the introduction of more efficient processes to manage key areas of the charity.
Ms McGrady added the charity would continue to prioritise conservation and public access in the face unprecedented losses and its reorganisation will allow it to step up in its battle against climate change and continue its ambition to become carbon net zero by 2030.