Closing for the Scottish Homecoming

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The National Trust for Scotland has decided that, because of the economic climate, it needs to save money. So it plans to reduce jobs by up to 91 and to close or curtail some of the features in some properties.
The Hill of Tarvet House in Fife will close, they are handing back the running of the Livingstone Centre in Blantyre and the house, though not the gardens will close at Leith hall House. Haddo House will only be open for functions but, again, the gardens will remain open. They are hoping that Kellie Castle will remain open but will be entirely staffed by volunteers. There are other sites affected too.
It will not have passed you by that this is Scottish Homecoming year; the year when money and energy is being spent on attracting people to return or visit Scotland. In a year when only good publicity is wanted to attract you and I there, it seems a bit of a faux pas to send a message out saying that the NTS is so unsuccessful at tourism, that we have to stop you seeing some things because we can’t afford them.
In the last published accounts they had a surplus/profit of £6 million on an income of £44 million. The accounts for 2008/9 will be being finalised now so the bean counters should pretty much know how well they did in the year ending February 28th. It suggests it wasn’t such a bumper year otherwise why these cutbacks in a year more important than many to Scottish tourism.
The union Prospect has been “kept informed about developments over the past weeks and months” says the NTS website.
That suggests the problems have been known for some time. Nonetheless does this really require the Prospect union leader, Alan Denney, to say (according to The Scotsman) that the “long term survival of the trust is in jeopardy.”
If he is right then there are some questions that should be asked of the senior staff.

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