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English Heritage paid out over £2m in redundancy costs

20 Sep 2018 News

Stonehenge is cared for by English Heritage

English Heritage paid out over £2m in redundancy costs according to accounts recently filed with Companies House, while its total income was up to £116m.

According to its accounts for the year ending March 2018, English Heritage paid out £2.1m in redundancy and severance costs, which it said related to organisational and design changes.

Its accounts said that in 2017/18 it undertook a review of the way it ran English Heritage to ensure it was focusing its resources “optimally” in order to deliver its charitable objectives and achieve financial sustainability by 2022/23.

It said: “As a result of our decision to look at our organisation design we have made changes that we believe will make us more sustainable for the future, whilst enabling us to focus more resources on conservation and stewardship of the National Heritage Collection and bringing history to life for the millions of visitors who enjoy our sites and monuments each year”.

It said that these changes took effect on 1 April 2018, with the costs estimated at £2m.

English Heritage said in December last year that it was planning to make around 4 per cent of its staff redundant, which would have meant about 80 redundancies. However trade union Prospect published a statement at the time saying 90 jobs could be lost, with up to 160 “at risk”. 

In a statement at the time, English Heritage 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.” 

The £2.1m was up considerably from £25,000 in 2016/17 on redundancy and severance costs. In the notes to the accounts, it says that included within the redundancy and severance costs are costs of £9,421 relating to ex-gratia payments in relation to the organisational design changes.

However, the average monthly headcount in 2017/18 was 2,177 staff, actually up from 1,981 the year before. 

Income up

Its income was up by over £13m on the previous year, with income from membership and admission to its sites rising to £64.6m from £57.8m.

English Heritage started operating as a charity in April 2015, having previously been part of the public sector. Its income includes £14m, which forms part of an £80m grant to help it set up the new model.

The charity said it has made “steady progress towards our goal of becoming financially sustainable by 2022/23”.

It said it is now supported by 969,000 members, and said it was delighted to welcome a “record-breaking 318,000 new members last year”. Membership has contributed an income of £33.8m in the year ending March 2018.

It also said it was the number of visitors to staffed sites was up by 10 per cent, and a 23 per cent rise in total visitors during events 20 1,263,000.

Funds of £1.4m has been generated from filming activity at its sites, including four feature films and more than 20 other activities such as costume dramas and fashion shoots.

The 2017/18 of £116m was up from the charity’s launch plan of £105.1m. But expenditure was also above the launch plan of £100.3m, at £107.8m.

The charity said that in 2018/19 it is working on converting three of its smaller sites from fee-paying to free-to-entre, and said it will continue to convert a small number each year in the coming years.

It started undertaking a £3.6m restoration of the Iron Bridge in Shropshire to ensure the world’s first iron bridge survives to tell the story of how the Industrial Revolutions transformed the word.


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