Coronavirus: Twenty Lake District National Park jobs at risk

Credit: PA

Around 20 jobs are at risk at the Lake District National Park as the authority tries to reduce the £1.2 million deficit left by the coronavirus pandemic.

Discussions about the number of redundancies and a new overhaul of the organisation will form part of a consultation with staff. 

Commenting in the last week, Richard Leafe, the chief executive of the national park, said the virus had affected the authority's financial position.

"Like many organisations, we have been financially hit by the Covid pandemic," he said.

"During the lockdown all the commercial services were closed down. Car parks, information centres, shops, cafés and boating centres all closed.

"This meant that we had no income from any of them. This reduced our overall income so now is the time that we should look at making savings."

The LDNP has received support from central government to keep it going during the pandemic. Credit: Cumbria Police

"We have been talking to DEFRA for support for some of our losses during this financial year and to save on staffing costs we took advantage of the furlough scheme," added Mr Leafe. "Two-thirds of our staff are currently on the scheme as we speak."

Visitors and locals are only just beginning to return to one of the county's biggest assets but the income level will take a long time to get back to normal.

Mr Leafe said the park normally received money from both outside finance and from what it makes itself.

"We get £5.5 million from Government each year and a similar amount comes in from our commercial income, but we don't expect income from commercial services to return to normal any time soon," he said.

The staff at the authority will begin to hear between now and the end of the financial year in April about voluntary redundancies and severance packages.