The new chair of the Trustees of the Dartington Trust is warning of ‘painful decisions’ which can be read as job cuts as the charity restructures.
The details won’t be announced until early next month.
Labour peer Lord David Triesman is the new chair of the Trustees of the Dartington Trust having joined in March.
He brings a wealth of experience ranging from being an investment banker to the Chairman of ther Football Association.
The charity has had a rough time recently with their finances being hit by Covid, the cost-of-living-crisis and what has been described as an ‘over ambitious’ programme.
Lord Triesman has quite a task on his hand and was candid about the situation: ‘‘I’ve been looking at the accounts and the figures are not good.
‘‘The Pandemic hugely affected visitor numbers, the war in Ukraine, the impact of Brexit and other factors have all conspired to make the situation what it is.
He believes that there should be a much clearer view on the situation by the first week of July and there will have to be a consultation before any redundancies are made.
The Trust currently employs 370 people.
Lord Triesman says turning things around is: ‘‘a big ask, a painful ask and tough decisions will have to be made.’’
Turning to the future of the Dartington Trust, he wants to unite the best of the old and new: ‘‘Here is where the Beveridge Report (influential in the founding in the welfare state) was written here, as was Labour’s 1945 manifesto which led to the election of Clement Attlee as PM.
‘‘Founding documents for the NHS, the Arts Council and the Open University were all produced here. Unique treasures.’’
Lord Triesman called Dartington a ‘global brand’ albeit a small one but one that is here to serve its local community.
He said: ‘‘I was amazed to find out how many local people hadn’t been to Dartington and we want to change that.’’
Building on the unique history is his priority and today he believes it can have a bright future.
His vision is providing ‘worked examples’ to the world whether that be by producing high quality sustainable food, demonstrating the best ways to deliver health and care or generating energy.
Lord Triesman wants to work with schools and the third sector to help improve life by showing what is going on at Dartington.