Falkirk Community Trust has already lost £1.5m income during pandemic

Falkirk Community Trust is losing around £750,000 every month in income as its venues remain shut during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Kirsty Paterson
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 12:30 pm

More than 90 per cent of Trust staff have been furloughed and the Trust is continuing to top up their wages so they are receiving full pay.

Chief executive Maureen Campbell said: “On Friday, March 20, we made the decision to withdraw from our core services, in response to government instructions to take precautions in the interest of public health to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

“The health and safety of our staff and customers has and will continue to be a priority for the Trust, however, our focus now is on business continuity; protecting the financial viability of the jobs and services provided by the Trust.

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Callendar Park remains open for people to exercise

“A considerable amount of our funds are generated by customer income made from the services we provide to the public.

“While these closures remain in place, the Trust is losing approximately £750K per month.

“As a result of this, we decided to seek financial relief provided by the Job Retention Scheme, and furlough over 90 per cent of our permanent workforce,approximately 600 employees.

“The Trust has committed to pay 100 per cent of furloughed employees salaries, which has been possible due to Falkirk Council agreeing to fulfil our funding agreement of investing their annual service payment of £10 million.

Ms Campbell said that, as a comparison, from April to June 2019, there were over one million visitors across all venues.

She added: “These are incredibly challenging times, and the spring and summer months are a busy period for us.”

“While the financial impact is severe, the effect on the health and wellbeing of our communities is incalculable – we have on average, 3.73 million customer visits from people of all ages and abilities using our sport, libraries and cultural venues and services per year.”

“While the majority of venues are closed, Trust parks do remain open to allow local people to exercise while adhering to government guidance around social distancing.

“We are also continuing to engage with the local community through our digital channels to encourage people to be as creative and active as they can be at this time with content provided across multiple services including; arts, heritage, libraries and sport and fitness.

“People and our communities remain at the heart of everything we do, therefore protecting our organisation during our venue closures is our sole objective, so that we will be able to open safely for the community when the time comes.”