Fears over Hill House future as owners cut staff
membership recruitment and property visits.
NTS said its income from all sources is forecast to collapse by £28m this year and to fall again in 2021 even if current restrictions are relaxed, while this does not include estimated investment losses of £46m due to stock market conditions.
Simon Skinner, chief executive, said: “The extreme and unprecedented public health emergency has put the charity’s future in doubt.
“This is despite us running the trust in a financially prudent way, building up our reserves and latterly taking critical decisions at the outset of this crisis, reducing our expenditure to a minimum, foregoing the recruitment of seasonal staff, terminating temporary and fixedterm contracts and furloughing a large proportion of our permanent staff.
“With some level of restrictions likely to apply post-lockdown and having effectively missed the busiest part of the visitor season, I see little prospect of us being able to return to more normal levels of membership, visitation and income for the rest of this year and beyond.”
He said that as well as the 429 posts mentioned, a further review of back office functions is under way, meaning more posts could be at risk.
Staff were told the news on Monday last week and NTS is opening a formal consultation with trade union Prospect.
Mr Skinner added: “Some people may not care that a charity is in trouble or see heritage as having little importance just now - but if the trust goes down then what will be lost will impoverish Scotland forever.
“The birthright of generations yet to come may be denied to them if this generation doesn’t do what’s needed to save it.”
David Avery, Prospect negotiator, said: “This is a huge blow to workers at NTS who will be extremely worried about their futures.
“We will do all we can to support members and argue strongly for the retention of jobs.”