Jubilee Sailing Trust to withdraw one of two ships to cut costs

The decision to decommission the Lord Nelson is part of reforms announced after the charity raised £1m to secure its short-term future

The Jubilee Sailing Trust will stop using one of its two tall ships as part of cost-cutting measures designed to stave off financial collapse, the charity has said.

The disabled and disadvantaged people’s sailing charity, which was close to collapse earlier this month, said in a statement from its trustees earlier this week that it would decommission the STS Lord Nelson by mid-October as the charity changes how it is run.

Earlier this month, the JST issued an urgent call for £1m in funding to keep it afloat and prevent the loss of 51 jobs.

The charity said the financial crisis was the result of a number of substantial mechanical issues affecting its ships, partner projects being deferred from this summer to 2020 and a poorly attended 2018 winter programme.

The JST raised the £1m it needed within a week, but set up a working group to decide how the charity should be run in the future.

In its statement this week, the charity said the Lord Nelson would be decommissioned but used to support the charity’s objectives in a new way, possibly as a visitor attraction.

Anyone booked on one of the ship’s voyages from 2020 onwards will be transferred to SV Tenacious – the charity’s other ship – or given a refund.

The charity will also increase the size of its fundraising team to raise money to help remove financial barriers to beneficiaries’ participation in its schemes, which the charity hopes will increase future participation.

The charity will also look at growing the number of partnerships it has with businesses, other charities and educational organisations.

The JST will change the way non-beneficiaries contribute to the charity and encourage more volunteering or fundraising to cover their costs.

A review of the charity will also take place to reduce its costs and set up a better operational model, the JST said.

"The trustees are extremely grateful for all the suggestions that have been submitted by many supporters over the past fortnight and it is clear that there is a high level of consensus around many points, which is reflected in our proposed change in strategic direction," the charity said.

"There are still many details to work through and the trustees plan to consult widely as the plans are developed further. Again, opportunities to participate in this consultation process will be shared soon, and we will continue to provide regular updates on our progress."

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