Animal charity plans to reduce workforce by 10% due to rising operating costs

24 Jun 2024 News

Bransby Horses

Equine welfare charity Bransby Horses has said that 17 of its 170 employees are at risk of redundancy due to ongoing financial challenges. 

The charity made the decision after a strategic review forecast a deficit of £2.5m for the charity, which would be the largest in its 56-year history. 

The roles at risk of redundancy are from its senior leadership and equine welfare and support service teams. Employees affected will undertake a 30-day consultation process which begins this week. 

Bransby Horses is also reviewing all of its assets and facilities to identify any further cost reduction or income generation measures. 

Its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission, ending December 2022, show it reported a deficit of £1.1m for the year, with a total income of £6.5m against expenditure of £7.6m. 

The charity also reported losses of over £4m on its investments. 

Rises in running costs

Bransby Horses rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes horses, donkeys, ponies and mules. It is currently supporting 299 equines. 

The charity said it has faced “exponential” increases in running costs due to rising food and energy prices and increasing pay rates to keep pace with the employment market. 

It said the cost of delivering its welfare and estate work has risen by more than 50% since 2018, while its fundraising income has plateaued. 

The charity states that legacies account for 65% of its total income. Indeed, its most recently filed accounts note uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of its reliance on the income. 

It reported that it had not received £2.3m in legacies at the end of the financial year December 2022.  

‘Financial challenges leave us with no other option’

Jo Snell, chief executive of Bransby Horses, said: “We have a wonderful, talented and dedicated team of people at Bransby Horses, and we’re devastated that despite our best efforts, the financial challenges we face leave us with no other option but to restructure our operations.

“We recognise just how hard this decision will be on those directly and indirectly impacted by the news and are fully committed to supporting everyone affected and minimising uncertainty throughout this difficult process.

“This includes working closely with impacted employees to look for every opportunity to mitigate job losses and, where this is not possible, supporting employees in finding new employment.
“While this is distressing news for everyone at Bransby Horses, we believe our new operating model will enable us to continue to deliver on every aspect of our work to improve the lives of equines, albeit at a slightly reduced scale, while significantly easing the financial pressures we’re currently facing to protect the charity’s long-term future.”

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.

More on