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Canterbury Cathedral jobs at risk as landmark counts huge financial cost of coronavirus

Canterbury Cathedral has warned staff it will have to make job cuts in a bid to counter a "substantial loss of income" due to coronavirus.

Bosses at the world famous landmark say they are facing a "perfect storm" of financial threats and will therefore undertake a restructuring process next month.

Jobs are at risk at the Cathedral
Jobs are at risk at the Cathedral

They admit the Cathedral's 300-strong workforce, of which 90% were originally furloughed, will need to be cut back.

The place of worship closed its doors to the public in March and waived rents for dozens of its commercial tenants despite previous fears such action would "risk bankruptcy".

A statement released today stresses how the financial outlook is currently bleak, and outlines the changes needed.

"Following substantial loss of income as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Canterbury Cathedral is undertaking a formal staff consultation regarding restructuring," it reads.

"Like so many other organisations, we are facing a perfect storm of cumulative financial threats and must take action now to secure the Cathedral’s longer-term survival.

Lockdown has led to a substantial loss of income for the Cathedral
Lockdown has led to a substantial loss of income for the Cathedral

"Despite halting all but essential spending and pursuing savings wherever possible, as our main source of expenditure, we must reduce staff costs and, ultimately, the number of people who work with us."

The Cathedral stresses it is "entirely financially independent" and does not receive support from the Church of England or English Heritage.

The statement adds: "It has received no income from visitors, events, our shop or hotel guests since March, and it will be many months before these areas start to produce income for us, and even longer before that gets close to previous levels.

"In addition, our revenue from rental properties and other investments has been impacted since lockdown and will continue to be hard hit by the long-term impact of coronavirus on the wider economy."

The restructure, which will examine all of the Cathedral's operations, will be conducted as soon as possible to "minimise the period of uncertainty for everyone".

An examination of all services will be carried out
An examination of all services will be carried out

The consultation process will start in mid-June, and the Cathedral states staff will be fully supported throughout.

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