The St Kilda archipelago is one of the key properties affected by the cash crisis at conservation charity National Trust for Scotland (NTS) brought on by the pandemic lockdown.

The NTS is having an emergency appeal for funds – https://www.nts.org.uk/campaigns/emergency-appeal

The NTS is the largest member organisation in Scotland - supported by more than 365,000 members and its work is funded largely by donations.

It's been reported that consideration is being given to selling the official residence of the First Minister.  Bute House in Edinburgh is one of a number of NTS properties that could come under review.  NTS bosses said earlier they stand to lose around £28million in income this year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron says that it is vitally important for the Highlands and Islands that a Government taskforce is successful in securing the future of the NTS.

NTS is reported to have announced that 429 staff of its permanent workforce are at risk of redundancy.

Some local employees have contacted Mr Cameron to express their concern about the threat to the organisation’s future in the Highlands and Islands.

Mr Cameron said: “NTS act as custodian for the some of the most cherished landscapes and historic buildings in the Highlands and Islands, providing a vital part of our tourist infrastructure.

“Their geographical spread, with properties and holdings from Argyll to the Northern Isles, makes them hugely significant to my region.

“As we seek to rebuild the tourism sector – worth £1bn to our regional economy – we must ensure that the irreplaceable attractions cared for by NTS are secured for the nation, and we do everything possible to preserve the jobs of the local NTS workforce.”

Mr Cameron said that he is contacting  Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work, and Culture, to impress on her the importance of the charity to the region.

Among the major National Trust of Scotland sites in the Highlands and Islands region are:

  • Arduiane Gardens, Argyll
  • Inverewe Gardens
  • Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre
  • Glencoe Visitor Centre
  • Glenfinnan Monument
  • Brodie Castle, Forres
  • Isle of Canna
  • St Kilda
  • Iona
  • Fair Isle