One-third of jobs at risk at Bletchley Park charity

Thirty-five roles are on the line after the charity lost more than 95 per cent of its income because of the coronavirus pandemic

(Photograph: Bletchley Park Trust/Bureau for Visual Affairs)
(Photograph: Bletchley Park Trust/Bureau for Visual Affairs)

Nearly a third of jobs at the Bletchley Park Trust are at risk as it looks to fill a £2m hole in its budget left by the coronavirus pandemic.

The heritage attraction and museum was the home of British codebreaking during World War Two, but the financial impact of the pandemic has meant that from March to July this year it lost more than 95 per cent of its income.

The trust expects to lose about £2m this year and has proposed a restructure involving a possible 35 redundancies, about one-third of the workforce, as it seeks to reduce its annual spend and the size of its team.

Staff have been notified and a consultation period will begin this week.

Iain Standen, chief executive of Bletchley Park, said: “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.”

“Like most organisations in the heritage sector, and indeed organisations and businesses across the country in every sector, the Bletchley Park Trust has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic." 

Standen said the trust had furloughed 85 per of its staff and, although it managed to secure some additional funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, further savings had to be made.

The charity will look to reduce costs in marketing, new exhibitions, travel, IT and printing, and introduce new processes to improve the efficiency of the organisation. 

“Whilst these will help reduce the financial impact in the short term, they alone are not enough. 

“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,” said Standen.

“I cannot stress how deeply saddened I am to announce the need for such a severe restructuring. 

“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.”


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