The National Trust for Scotland's Hill House in Helensburgh. Image by Carmody Groarke.

National Trust for Scotland publishes five-year plan

Rebecca Atkinson, 06.06.2018
Heritage and conservation charity to spend £57m on improvements to sites
National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has pledged to spend £57m improving the visitor experience and condition of its sites.

The trust has published a five-year plan, which includes targets to grow membership from 350,000 to nearly 500,000.

It also wants to increase paid visits from 450,000 to one million, to increase total visitor numbers to five million annually and to increase average member visits from 1.3 to two visits a year.

And it wants to increase regular donors from 650 to 5,000 and annual donations to more than £10m.  

The trust said it will create “active learning experiences” for more than 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds each year, and introduce a new £1 entry scheme for people aged under 26 for Scotland's 2018 Year of Young People.

“We live in troubling times,” wrote Neil Oliver, the NTS’s president, in his introduction to the trust's five-year plan. “For me, it often feels overwhelming, although a small but meaningful way of dealing with that worry is to celebrate what we have and to value and pay attention to what’s on our doorstep.”

The new strategy document also states: “The world is changing, and to keep up with it, we need to be future fit. We need to be fit to carry on protecting and promoting Scotland’s heritage for visitors now and tomorrow.

"We know that people are more likely to value Scotland’s heritage if they’re able to experience it; and once they value it, they’ll want to protect it.”

The NTS said a recent restructure and £14m investment in priority projects to improve the visitor experience have paved the way for the new five-year plan.

Earlier this year it announced that its restructure would include 82 job losses and the create of 63 new jobs, but this has now been revised to 48 losses following a number of voluntary redundancies and natural staff turnover. Seventy new roles are now expected to be created.