Bletchley Park charity considers axing one in three jobs

The charity that oversees the heritage of British codebreakers during the Second World War is looking to reduce its workforce by a third.

The Bletchley Park Trust is looking at the move as part of restructure amid Covid-19 income losses. Between March and July it lost almost all (95%) of its income.

The trust is anticipating losing £2m this year due to the health crisis as it considers plans for 35 redundancies, which is one in three jobs.

A consultation period starts this week, says the charity.

“We have built a very successful heritage attraction and museum at Bletchley Park and its principal strength is its people,” said Bletchley Park chief executive Iain Standen.

“However, the economic impact of the current crisis is having a profound effect on the Trust’s ability to survive. We have exhausted all other avenues, and we need to act now to ensure that the Trust survives and is sustainable in the future.”

Standen added: “I had hoped that we might avoid the need to do this, but we find ourselves with no other choice if we are to secure the future of the Bletchley Park Trust.”

On 19 March the charity was forced to close the gates to Bletchley Park, the iconic site where German codes were broken during the Second World War. It reopened on 4 July but with reduced visitor numbers. The Trust had furloughed 85% of its staff and also secured additional funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The savings are across marketing, exhibitions, travel, IT and printing.

The charity added: “The medium to long term implications of social distancing and living with the consequent lower visitor numbers, has meant the need for a radical review of the Trust’s organisation, spending and priorities.”

Arts and culture has been the hardest hit charity sector in terms of redundancies this year due to the health crisis, according to research by New Philanthropy Capital.

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