With annual forecasted income having fallen 89%, from £110 million to around £10 million, the self-funded charity believes it will take “several years” for any form of post-Covid recovery to emerge.
In a statement issued announcing the possibility of up to 145 job losses – 86 full time equivalents – Historic Royal Palaces says it has been left with “no choice but to take measures to reduce our costs” after it had “exhausted all other means available”.
The charity has already frozen recruitment, ended seasonal contracts and made temporary adjustments to pay and pensions in an attempt to mitigate the financial damage. Nevertheless, with reserves set to be depleted by the beginning of 2021, “further reductions remain necessary as we restructure the charity to withstand the challenging years ahead”, it claims.
John Barnes, chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces, says the organisation has “tried to limit the impact of the financial challenges on our staff” at every stage of the current crisis.
“If we are to continue this work, we must act now to reduce payroll costs and make the charity financially sustainable,” he adds. “We are privileged to be the guardians of six remarkable places, but the dedicated team who care for them are the spirit of our charity, and we are deeply sad that it has come to this.”
Historic Royal Palaces says it will continue to pursue “all remaining avenues for additional funding” as it strives to retain as many of its 1,165 full time equivalent roles as is viable.
Staff should discover their fates in November when the consultation period is at an end.