National Trust for Scotland brings in more than £7m in emergency support since June

The sums raised have enabled the charity to scale back redundancy proposals

Culzean Castle, a National Trust for Scotland property (Photograph: David Robertson/National Trust for Scotland)
Culzean Castle, a National Trust for Scotland property (Photograph: David Robertson/National Trust for Scotland)

An emergency appeal by the National Trust for Scotland has raised more than £7m, the charity has revealed.

Launched in June, the Save our Scotland Appeal raised £3.4m as more than 10,000 donations flooded in from all over the world before the campaign closed at the end of September.

When a £3.8m support package from the Scottish government, announced in August, is included, it takes the total raised to £7.2m. 

The trust was poised to enact emergency measures that included making 429 staff redundant, more than half of the 750 people it employs, as well as delaying re-opening some of the heritage properties in its care until 2021 or 2022.

But the charity said over the summer that the injection of funds from the Scottish government would enable it to save 197 roles. 

It said at the time it would still have to make more than 230 redundancies as a result of losing almost £30m – half its expected annual income – because of the pandemic. 

The charity said today the contributions have helped it secure more than 200 jobs and would enable it to re-open more of its heritage sites.

It said that while its financial situation had stabilised, it was still on course for a £20m deficit this year, and encouraged people to keep offering their support.

The trust said it adopted a broad-based fundraising approach that included working with its major donor giving circles, public appeals, and joining with corporate partners. 

Public supporters also worked together to launch “giving challenges” and undertook their own fundraising challenges to help raise money for the appeal. 

Trust patrons Simon and Bridget Fraser took on a 100km walk along the Berwickshire coast that raised more than £15,000.

The actor Brian Cox narrated a TV advert to accompany the appeal and thanked everyone who responded.

Ali MacLeod, head of fundraising at the National Trust for Scotland, said: “Support has helped us to stabilise and look to the future with more confidence than we felt in May, yet we are very aware that recovery in these uncertain times will be difficult.

In order to deliver meaningful and increasingly urgent care of places we love and conservation projects, such as caring for our footpaths, we require the ongoing commitment, generosity and partnership of our supporters to make these projects possible.

“We are overwhelmed and heartened by the generosity of everyone who donated and their care.”

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