National Park Authority confirms restructure

Published on: 05 Nov 2020

The Lake District National Park Authority has today confirmed a new organisational structure to secure its work in the Park, in response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following an in-depth six-week consultation with its 200-staff, members and union, the National Park leadership team has revised its original plans to ensure its front line, on the ground, delivery continues. The Authority has also created around six new roles, plus three new apprentice rangers, and is exploring use of the Government’s Kickstart programme for 16-24 year olds. A number of people have come forward for voluntary redundancy during the consultation process and as a result the number of compulsory redundancies is likely to be fewer than ten.

The new structure will close the £1.2m budget deficit and support the Authority’s work on the ground to protect and enhance the National Park and World Heritage Site.

Key changes include:

  • Merging strategy and park management services to create a new, more efficiently aligned operation on the ground. The new service will provide specialist expertise to look after the National Park’s 3000km rights of ways, patrol the largest lakes and landholdings, deliver improved access and support the Park’s visitors and communities
  • Improving efficiencies in our visitor services, with some reduced opening hours during off-peak times
  • Reducing the scale of support services and management overheads in the Authority, whilst ensuring essential functions can be maintained
  • Continuing a high quality provision of our statutory services including: planning, National Park management plan and access management

Chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, Richard Leafe, said:

“I’m proud of every one of the Authority’s dedicated, professional staff. They genuinely care about protecting the National Park, and that’s been clear from their ideas and views shared during the past six weeks.

“However, like many other organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the vital funding which we rely on to look after the Park, so we were left with no alternative than to review every part of the organisation to help secure its future. I’d like to thank those staff whose roles have changed, or who will be leaving the Authority, for their valuable work. We expect the majority of our staff to be retained, through current or new roles, and we hope that when funding allows, we can rebuild and reinvest.

“During the summer, as we welcomed thousands of visitors back to the National Park, it was clear how important the Park continues to be in supporting people’s health and mental wellbeing, particularly during these challenging times. So as we move forward with this new structure, we fully appreciate the importance and responsibility placed on the Authority in managing this special place.

“While we adjust to these changes, we remain committed to our vision for the Lake District and will now move forward in delivering our new set of priorities for the Authority: a sharper focus on climate change, ambitious scale nature recovery, supporting the future of farming and sustainable smarter travel, to be delivered with the Lake District National Park Partnership with the support of our volunteers, members, staff and everyone who cares for the Lake District.”

The new structure will be in place by April 2021.

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