Kew Gardens might have to cut 125 jobs because of £5m funding shortfall

Royal Botanic Gardens faces cuts in its funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Kew Foundation

The Cambridge Cottage, Kew Gardens
The Cambridge Cottage, Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is considering cutting up to 125 jobs because of an expected £5m funding shortfall next year.

A Kew spokeswoman said the organisation, which receives the bulk of its funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Kew Foundation, its charitable arm, was considering the cuts to its 750-strong workforce because of the "financial challenges of the last few years".

The Surrey based Kew Gardens, which has a sister site at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, is facing the shortfall for 2014/15, mainly due to funding reductions from Defra and the foundation totalling about £3.5m.

"The scale of potential cuts equates to approximately 125 roles," said the spokeswoman.

"Costs will be reduced and these will include changes in staffing. We will be working with staff to explore all options, including schemes for voluntary exits, reduced working hours and unpaid leave, before moving on to consideration of redeployment, voluntary redundancies or, as a last resort, compulsory redundancies."

The Kew Foundation raises about 11 per cent of the gardens’ funds through voluntary income, while about half comes from government funding, with the rest raised through donations, grants and membership.

The spokeswoman said that Kew aimed to increase its "self-generated income", with a view to plugging a third of its £5m shortfall.

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