The new trustees of the Kiltwalk, which organises sponsored walks with people wearing kilts to raise funds for children's charities in Scotland, have confirmed that it has made three redundancies and terminated the contracts of five temporary employees a month early.
It was announced last week that the board of the Kiltwalk had been replaced by representatives from the Hunter Foundation.
The move came after the Kiltwalk said in March that Carey McEvoy, its founder and chief executive, would stand down after four charities cut ties with it, two of them citing concerns about the amount of funds they received from the events. Of the £1.6m income the Kiltwalk had in 2013, £776,406 went to participating charities.
A statement sent out this week on behalf of the new board confirmed the job losses and said that two Kiltwalk events due to take place later this year in Dundee and Speyside had been cancelled because they were financially unviable. Four Kiltwalk events have been held in 2015.
Ewan Hunter, interim chair of the Kiltwalk, said in a statement: "It is abundantly clear to us that, as they stand, both the Dundee and Speyside walks are entirely uneconomically viable. Had we continued with them, every penny raised for charity would have been absorbed by operational costs – hence, sadly, we are withdrawing these events for 2015.
"On that basis and with great regret, five short-term contract employees will leave Kiltwalk one month early as they are no longer required and three full-time employees will be made redundant. In all cases they will receive full compensation and go with our very best wishes for the future."
The cuts mean that Kiltwalk will have two staff members plus an interim chief executive.
The new trustees of the Kiltwalk said they wanted to make sure that every penny participants raised would to go to the charities of their choice, once they had paid their registration fees. They said that with this in mind the Hunter Foundation would underwrite any gap in operational funding from 2016.
Hunter, who is also chief executive of the Hunter Foundation, said the foundation was not disclosing how much it expected to put into the Kiltwalk in 2016, but the amount was substantial.
The foundation spent £962,181 in the year to the end of March 2014, according to figures on the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s website.
The new trustees said they aimed to double the funds the charity raised for Scottish children’s charities.
"Our ambition with walkers, fellow charities and sponsors is to make the Kiltwalk an absolutely phenomenal success as a means of raising funds for charity and getting Scotland on their feet walking," said Hunter. "In 2014, the Kiltwalk raised 47p in the pound for Scottish charities. We aim to double the returns to charity and more – we will take this to £1 for £1. The more walkers we have, the more money we deliver to Scotland’s children’s charities."
Hunter said the charity’s end of year, which was previously the end of December, would be brought forward to September so that "we can draw a clear distinction between the past and future of the Kiltwalk".