Salvation Army sheds staff to cover projected loss

The Salvation Army is to sell a number of properties and has merged two of its departments as it attempts to cover a budget shortfall of £10m.

It has already sold the training centre at Balvonie House in Skelmorlie, Scotland. It also merged its purchasing department with its property and facilities department to cut 10 per cent from their joint £50m budget.

This has led to 21 job cuts: 14 property managers, two buyers and five Balvonie staff.

Balvonie was used for training, conferences and holidays by the Salvation Army, the Church of Scotland, the Church of Nazarene, nurses and firemen.

It was also a holiday resort that was open to the public.

"It is impossible for us to maintain this centre without considerable ongoing deficit funding," a Salvation Army spokesman said. "The decision to sell Balvonie has been taken after much consultation and in full recognition of the real regret and disappointment that Salvationists, especially those in Scotland, may feel."

Property management is the Salvation Army's largest expense after personnel.

Several other properties have been identified for sale. The charity agreed to slash administration costs in a national review last September. It blamed the deficit partly on a decline in fundraising.

"There are more charities these days, so money is thinner on the ground," said Mark Johnston-Wood, director of the newly merged divisions.

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