Scotland

National Trust for Scotland's finances improve

Man in kilt outside NTS headquarters
Image caption The heritage body sold its Charlotte Square headquarters last year

The National Trust for Scotland has said it is in a "more secure" financial position than a year ago.

The heritage body's annual results showed its working reserves now stand at £8.5m - more than double the previous year's £4.1m.

Income from membership fees rose slightly to £10.4m, while the number of paying visitors also rose by 7%.

Last year, the Trust sold its Edinburgh headquarters, mothballed three historic properties and cut 88 posts.

Its latest accounts showed that an additional £2.7m was raised by increased visitor numbers, mainly as a result of the Burns National Heritage Park which the Trust took over the running of in the previous year.

Legacy income also rose substantially to £5.9m, while wages and salaries were down by 3.2%.

This was mainly as a result of the redundancy programme which took place during the year, although the figure excluded the costs of that programme.

The Trust's finance director Lesley Watt said that in all key performance indicators, management had been able to display to its board and governing council that it remained a "going concern".

She added: "The positive message to give is that the actions we took have delivered results.

"Last year with the recession imminent, we benefited from people staying at home and our commercial activities were up.

"It's given us a breathing space but we cannot be complacent about what the future holds. We have to ensure that financial sustainability always goes hand-in-hand with conservation."

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