Funding to secure 200 jobs at Scottish heritage sites

Fund made available to help heritage organisation recover from impact of coronavirus crisis.

A support package worth £3.8m will be created to save almost 200 jobs at the National Trust for Scotland.

The fund will be made available to help the heritage organisation recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The package will also support the reopening of 33 sites this month, rather than the 27 originally planned.

However, 188 compulsory redundancies and 44 voluntary redundancies are still expected due to the effects of the pandemic.

The Scottish Government said the funding comes with the condition the trust works with it to consider the long-term sustainability of its operations and review its business model for future challenges.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This has been a deeply difficult time for staff at National Trust for Scotland.

“Since the difficulties at the trust emerged, I was absolutely clear that any support from government would be to support jobs.

“The severe impact of the pandemic means that unfortunately not all jobs can be saved but this funding will go far to protect as many critical roles across the National Trust for Scotland estate as we can.

“The funding will also ensure that some sites proposed for long-term closure by National Trust for Scotland can instead be reopened, and enjoyed once again by communities.”

Phil Long, chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland, conceded job losses are unavoidable but said they should be limited by the extra funding.

He said: “My joy at this announcement is tempered by the fact that the devastating effects of Covid-19 mean we still must say goodbye to friends and colleagues.

“I wish it were not so, but redundancies are unavoidable, although this support helps keep them to the absolute minimum.

“Through consultation on emergency measures we received invaluable advice from staff and others on functional expertise we must retain.

“Consequently, we’ve come up with a resilient operating model to weather continuing uncertainty and, through support from government and many individuals, enable us to look forward.”

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