‘We are devastated to lose so many people’: Nearly a third of staff at York Museums Trust made redundant

10 Nov 2020 @ 4.54 pm
| News

York Museums Trust has lost 43 of its staff in a wave of redundancies forced on it by the financial impact of the Covid pandemic.

Through a programme of voluntary and compulsory redundancies, the trust has reduced the number of its staff from 144 to 101.

That is about 30% of its workforce, and it represents a loss of 37.67 full time equivalent roles.

The trust runs York Art Gallery, the Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum and York St Mary’s.

Chief executive of York Museums Trust Reyahn King said: “We are devastated to have had to lose so many people who have worked so hard to make the trust what it is today.

“Without reducing the size of our workforce we would not be in a position to survive and rebuild after the significant financial impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, on the trust.”

Saving £500K

Reyahn King

The trust began its redundancy process in September, after revealing a financial shortfall of £1.5m.

Last month it was announced that it would receive £850,000 from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

But that hasn’t been enough to stave off the job losses, which came “despite our best efforts to source emergency funding and reduce our costs in every other way,” Ms King said.

The restructure will see the trust saving £570,000 this year to ensure its survival.

Ms King added: “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in these consultations, including those whose jobs have sadly been affected. 

“It is their hard work and commitment over the years which has made us into a successful organisation and helped us achieve so much. I would like to wish them all the best for the future during what I know is a very difficult time.”

Determined to continue

Museum Gardens reopened in summer

She added that the partial reopening of York Art Gallery and the Castle Museum had proved popular prior to the second lockdown, “and it was fantastic to see people enjoying and engaging with the cultural heritage in our care again.

“York Museum Gardens remain open as a vital resource for people to enjoy during such challenging times.”

Ms King thanked everyone who had made a donation.

“We are determined that the charity will continue to fulfil its mission inspiring people, sharing and caring for the very special art and collections, gardens, buildings and heritage sites in York.

“We look forward to welcoming you back to York Art Gallery and York Castle Museum, hopefully in early December.”