English Heritage is planning to cut staff numbers in a bid to be financially sustainable by 2023.
The charity, which was part of the public sector until 2015, is consulting its staff on the restructure until 15 December. It says it expects to make around 4 per cent of its staff redundant.
According to the charity’s latest accounts it employs 1,981 members of staff, so a four per cent reduction would mean about 80 redundancies.
However, trade union Prospect published a statement saying 90 jobs could be lost, with up to 160 “at risk”.
It said the majority of the proposed losses were in the charity’s professional, management and specialist roles within visitor operations management, marketing and curatorial teams.
English Heritage’s statement said: “As a result of this review, it is likely that we will reduce English Heritage’s workforce by approximately four per cent. We are presently consulting on this with our staff.
“Decisions of this nature are never easy but we believe it is better to take these decisions now – from a position of strength – in order to ensure the charity’s long-term success.”
Kate Mavor, English Heritage’s chief executive, said: “We have had a tremendous first three years, with record visitor numbers, but to ensure we become financially independent, we need to change how we are organised.
“These changes will involve some difficult decisions but they are vital if we are to continue to look after the sites in our care and tell their stories to this and future generations.”
Prospect national officer Caroline Hemmington said: “Our concern is that employees with specialist expertise in interpretation, collections, marketing and visitor operations could be lost if these proposals are implemented.
“These proposed cuts will have an impact on the organisation’s ability to deliver capital investment projects and to promote and manage properties and their collections.”
English Heritage currently receives a tapering government subsidy, with this due to end in 2022/23.
The charity made a loss of £6.2m in the most recent financial year, and a loss of £4.8m the year before. But in 2014/15, it made an £80.7m profit after receiving an £80m grant from the government.