National Trust for Scotland chairman Moir Lockhead and chief executive Simon Skinner pictured at Newhailes, East Lothian. (c) MacNeill Photography

National Trust for Scotland plans restructure

Simon Stephens, 27.01.2016
Aims include cutting costs, investing in properties and increasing income
Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is working on a restructuring programme in a bid to cut costs and improve the performance of its properties.

NTS, which expects to go out to formal consultation on its plans in April, cares for 129 historic properties across Scotland. One of its aims is to invest in key properties to improve the visitor experiences in terms of facilities, interpretation, enjoyment and engagement.

The plan to restructure follows a review of the 85-year old charity led by the board of trustees, its chairman Moir Lockhead and its chief executive Simon Skinner.

“We have decided that for the next few years we will concentrate resources on a number of priority properties – each of which will have specific projects and initiatives designed to drive up visitor numbers,” Skinner said.

“Our trustees have judged that upfront investment in these properties would give the greatest returns in terms of increased visitor numbers, income, improved visitor experiences and conservation outcomes as quickly as possible.”

The NTS said that while it expects a reduction in total number of staff across the organisation, staffing levels at properties would be unaffected. The aim is to cut overall running costs by 10%.

The trust said the planned changes would be self-funding and at the end of three years would lead to a more sustainable model. The aim is to bring in an extra £8m-£10m a year of additional income for the charity through efficiency changes, more paying visitors, increased numbers of members and growing donations.

The trust’s properties include St Kilda in the Western Isles, Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire and Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen. The NTS has more than 330,000 members. In 2014-15, it attracted 2.48 million visits to its properties.


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MA Member
10.02.2016, 15:21
Earlier comment does demonstrate little understanding of the National Trust for Scotland, what it is for, where it is at.

They are not keen to make money (for the sake of it): it's a charity!

One thing they are certainly keen on is to balance the books.

But isn't that a legal responsibility anyway for any charity management and board?
MA Member
06.02.2016, 12:18
Sorry in that last comment predictive text intervened. That should have read HLF. Please save The National Trust for Scotland from the idiots!
MA Member
06.02.2016, 12:13
This restructure is turning into an utter car crash. Please MA and members, do some digging, ask for the detail on their plans for conservation and learning. It's being handled shockingly badly. HE and other possible funders take note. The Trust is only keen to make money. The senior management, board and chairman are ignorant and arrogant.