ALMOST 1,300 jobs will be lost at the National Trust, which looks after various beauty spots in the North-East, as it seeks to save £100 million due to Covid losses.

The organisation warned in July that it might have to make 1,200 people redundant to deal with the fallout from the pandemic.

Today, October 8, it has announced a further 514 compulsory redundancies following consultation.

National Trust looks after the likes of Cragside, Gibside and Seaton Delaval Hall. Despite the cuts, the 5.6 million member-strong charity will continue to open as many places as possible. 

Some 782 people have also taken voluntary redundancy, as part of cuts to jobs that will save around £59 million a year.

A reduction of annual costs from travel and office costs and cutting marketing and print spend in favour of digital communications will also save £41 million.

The coronavirus crisis hit almost every aspect of income for the conservation and heritage charity, which has 5.6 million members, shutting all of its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes, and stopping holidays and events.

An additional 162 people were previously told they were being made redundant as £124 million of projects were halted or deferred. 

This brings the total job losses linked to the pandemic to 1,458 - half the number of redundancies the Trust had originally planned to make.

Everyday maintenance and curatorial roles have been retained, along with roles focused on helping children learn.

Director general Hilary McGrady thanked staff, volunteers and members who shared their views on the proposals, saying the consultation had enabled the Trust to adapt its plans while still making the savings it required.

She said: “This is a very painful time for so many organisations, businesses and communities. The Trust is only as strong as it is because of its people – our staff, volunteers and supporters.

“No leader wants to be forced into announcing any redundancies, but coronavirus means we simply have no other choice if we want to give the charity a sustainable future.

“We have exhausted every other avenue to find savings, but sadly we now have to come to terms with the fact that we will lose some colleagues."

Ms McGrady said the National Trust would continue to open as many places as possible while the UK battled Covid-19 and Government restrictions remained in place.

“The places and things the National Trust cares for are needed now more than ever, and will continue to play an important role as our nations recuperate and recover their spirit and wellbeing,” she said.

General secretary of the Prospect union Mike Clancy said: “The long-term prospects for National Trust and access to its properties and lands are hugely important both to employees and to the cultural health of the nation.

“The current plan, while devastating for those who are losing jobs they love, is a reasonable way to move forward, minimising job losses while hopefully safeguarding the National Trust’s future.”