Hadrian's Wall Trust to close following funding cuts - Museums Association

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Hadrian’s Wall Trust to close following funding cuts

English Heritage pulls funding to World Heritage Site
The charity that runs Hadrian's Wall says it has taken the decision to wind down over the next six months after it failed to plug a funding shortfall.

The Hadrian’s Wall Trust was set up to manage the Unesco World Heritage Site, supported by English Heritage, Natural England and eight local authorities.

Despite launching fundraising appeals, the trustees said that the “significant financial constraints” of its funding partners meant it had no choice but to close the charity by September.

“This is the challenging environment in which charities operate today,” the statement added. “We are working together to produce a strategy that will ensure the core responsibilities of the trust can be sustained and the legacy of its fine work preserved for the future.”

English Heritage's funding to the Hadrian’s Wall Trust was £167,000 in 2012/13 and £139,000 in 2013/14. A spokeswoman said funding has been declining year-on-year with the aim to make the trust self-sufficient, in line with other World Heritage Sites.

English Heritage and the trust’s other funders are working with the Northumberland National Park Authority and the chairman of the World Heritage Site Management Plan Committee to put new arrangements in place to safeguard the landmark.

In a statement, English Heritage said that discussions around the future of the trust’s work, including the national trail and Hadrian’s Wall bus, are “well advanced [and] partners are confident that alternative arrangements can be put in place as a priority”.

Henry Owen-John, English Heritage’s north west planning director, added: “The most important thing for all of us is the preservation and maintenance of this hugely important historical monument.

"We are doing all we can to introduce effective new arrangements to protect and promote Hadrian’s Wall and maintain the national trail so people can continue to experience this fantastic historic monument.”

English Heritage will provide funding to help establish new arrangements for the site in 2014/15 and potentially in 2015/16.

Hadrian’s Wall runs 150 miles across the north of England. More than one million people visited in 2011/12.

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