More than 200 National Trust jobs under threat due to coronavirus

More than 200 employees are at risk of losing their jobs as the National Trust struggles to cope with a huge fall in income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity has scaled back projects that were scheduled to take place in the financial year of 20/21 in order to save money, but say the loss of visitors has had "both an immediate and lasting impact" on the trust's finances.

Bosses informed 211 members of staff on Monday (15 June) that they are at risk of redundancy.

The trust, which cares for places in Cumbria like Airaforce and the house of Beatrix Potter, says there will be a 45-day consultation period before a final decision is made.

Rannerdale Valley bluebells. Credit: PA

A spokesperson said: “The coronavirus outbreak has had both an immediate and lasting impact on the financial resilience of the National Trust, especially through the loss of visitor income and the effect on our investments in the stock market.

“In April we agreed that we would defer, or in some cases stop, a large proportion of project spend planned for the financial year 20/21.

“We retained some spending so we could honour live agreements with external contractors, invest in measures to protect our existing income, and to cover costs like essential maintenance and urgent compliance tasks. Sadly, we had to suspend or stop all other project spending.

“Yesterday we informed 211 members of staff who work directly on the affected projects that they are at risk of redundancy.

"There will now be a 45-day consultation period before final outcomes are announced.

Beatrix Potter House Credit: PA

“We know this is a time of uncertainty for many and our priority is to support those employees directly affected as much as possible.

“The project review forms part of a wider financial review taking place across the Trust.

"We are working hard and at pace to make sure we can emerge from this crisis in as strong a position as possible to return to focusing on our charitable objectives of bringing nature, beauty and history to everyone for ever.”