Potential National Trust jobs loss a major blow, says Blair

The potential loss of 80 jobs at the National Trust is a major blow, Alliance MLA John Blair has said.

Mr Blair was speaking after the organisation announced it had opened a consultation on proposals to make 1,200 staff redundant, with potentially 80 of those expected to be locally. It has said the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.

“This is extremely sad news and my thoughts are with those staff members across the National Trust but particularly in Northern Ireland. This is a major blow for the sector,” said Mr Blair.

“The Trust provides vital conservation work to protect and care for our precious coastlines, woodlands and countryside. In the recovery from the pandemic, it is important we support organisations such as the National Trust to they can continue to do just that.”

His colleague, Alliance Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong, said her constituency would be particularly badly hit.

“Without the National Trust, we would not be able to visit amazing places across Strangford like Mountstewart, Kearney village or Rowallane. It has maintained and developed not only stately homes but world-class famous gardens and sites, which have attracted local and international tourism.

“I will be contacting the Communities Minister to see if there is any option to support the work of the National Trust through the Historical Environmental Division.”