The Bletchley Park Trust is proposing to restructure as a result of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. The impact of the pandemic has meant that from March to July this year it lost over 95% of its income leaving a large gap in its annual budget.
The Trust expects to lose around £2m this year as a result of the pandemic and is today proposing a restructuring that includes a possible 35 redundancies, approximately a third of the workforce, as it seeks to reduce its annual spend and the size of its team.
Staff have been given the news today, and consultation period will commence next week. Bletchley Park CEO Iain Standen told staff that, “It with deep regret that I am informing you today that the Trust needs to cut jobs. We have built a very successful heritage attraction and museum at Bletchley Park and its principal strength is its people. However, 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. It closed its gates to the public on 19 March 2020, reopening again, with significantly reduced visitor numbers, on 4 July 2020 which has impacted on its revenue. The Trust furloughed 85% of its staff and managed to secure some additional funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Savings have also been identified within the Trust’s annual budget which include reducing costs in marketing, new exhibitions, travel, IT, printing and introducing 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.
Iain added, “I cannot stress how deeply saddened I am to announce the need for such a severe restructuring. We have built a brilliant team on the back of huge success and with great ambitions for the future, which we will now need to re-examine. 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.”