HUNDREDS of jobs at risk from the National Trust is a 'serious blow', a Member of the Senedd has said.

The National Trust is planning to make 1,200 staff redundant as it looks to save £100 million in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The conservation and heritage charity, which has 5.6 million members, said it has lost almost £200 million as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, which shut all of its houses, gardens, car parks, shops and cafes, and stopped holidays and events.

The trust said it had already saved millions of pounds through furloughing staff, drawing on reserves, borrowing and stopping or deferring projects, but still needs to make savings to keep it sustainable in the long term.

It has proposed £100 million in annual savings, equivalent to almost a fifth of its annual spend, through changes to operations and cuts to staff and budgets.

Commenting on the announcement that 1,200 jobs are at risk of redundancy at the National Trust charity, the Shadow Minister for Culture, David Melding MS, said: “The National Trust is of immense importance to Wales, given its many hallmark sites employs a large number of people and attracts substantial tourism.

“Today’s announcement that 1,200 jobs are at risk is a serious blow and my thoughts are with all those affected.

“The charity desperately needs to make £100 million in savings because of Covid-19, according to reports. For that reason I implore the Welsh Labour-led Government to initiate dialogue with the charity on possible support to halt potential job losses.”

The move, which comes after a decade which saw the National Trust nearly double in size, would bring staffing levels back to what they were in 2016.

The plans also include £8.8 million savings by cutting the budget for hourly paid staff such as seasonal workers by a third.

A Welsh Government spokesperson added: “Our thoughts are with those people whose jobs may be at risk and we expect employees and unions to be kept informed at every step of the consultation.”