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National Trust cuts almost 1,300 jobs nationwide in bid to save £100m

PUBLISHED: 14:46 08 October 2020

Blickling Hall is a National Trust owned property. The National Trust is making 1,300 job cuts. Pic: EDP

Blickling Hall is a National Trust owned property. The National Trust is making 1,300 job cuts. Pic: EDP

Archant

The National Trust, which has properties across Norfolk, is cutting jobs with 514 compulsory and 782 voluntary redundancies.

The heritage organisation, celebrating 125 years this year, warned back in July that it may have to make redundancies after being badly hit by coronavirus. All its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes were shut down and major events cancelled.

The National Trust, which owns properties including Blicking Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Oxburgh Hall, is also making cost savings from reducing travel and office working as well as cutting its marketing and print spend. It is not yet known if jobs will be cut in Norfolk.

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Director-general Hilary McGrady said back in July: ‘It’s with huge regret that I am telling you about the need to cut jobs. The Trust’s strength is its people. Our charity has survived so long – through two world wars and a number of economic downturns, thanks to staff, volunteers and supporters. 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. We’ll grow back stronger.”

She added: “Like most organisations, we’ve been hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus. When the country went into lockdown we closed all our houses, gardens, car parks, shops, cafes, holidays and stopped events, quickly losing tens of millions of pounds of support.”

The National Trust acquired its first house in 1907 but it wasn’t until the 1940s that more were left in people’s wills in order to avoid them falling into disrepair if they couldn’t be passed on to a family member.

However such were the enormous costs involved, it was decided in the 1930s that properties could only be handed over to the trust along with endowments to help pay for them. But in 1937, Parliament enabled the National Trust to make money from its properties by allowing it to accept additional property, cash or securities.

One of the first to do so was Philip Kerr who, in 1941, bequeathed Blicking Hall along with its contents, more than 100 other houses and cottages, and more than 4,700 acres of woodland. It’s not easy for the trust to sell off its properties; it would require a debate in parliament, however it does generate income from letting its smaller acquisitions such as cottages on estates.

The National Trust owns 133 properties in total.


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