Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 09:38 UK

National Trust chief stands down

Hill of Tarvit
Hill of Tarvit in Fife is one of the properties the Trust has closed

The National Trust for Scotland is searching for a new chairman after Shonaig MacPherson announced she was to step down from the post.

There has been vociferous opposition to a number of drastic cost-cutting measures and members tabled a motion of no-confidence in Ms MacPherson.

Earlier this year the trust announced a substantial number of redundancies and said 11 properties faced closure.

The process to replace Ms MacPherson will get under way later this month.

Ms MacPherson said: "The board has always been aware that it has never been my intention to complete a second term of office at the Trust.

"Over the next 12 months, a major review of the Trust's governance structure and its future role in looking after Scotland's heritage is to be carried out.

"In terms of timing it makes sense to seek a new Chair to co-incide with this review rather than later next year when the review will be almost complete."

The National Trust for Scotland looks after more than 100 historic properties which showcase Scotland's architectural heritage.

In May it said planned redundancies had been reduced from 91 to 65 full-time jobs after talks with staff and unions.

But the trust said 46 seasonal jobs would be cut, with 16 other posts in doubt, while Hutchesons' Hall in Glasgow, Leith Hall in Aberdeenshire, Ben Lawers visitor centre and Hill of Tarvit Mansion House in Fife would close.

It has also been trying to sell its Category A-listed headquarters in Charlotte Square in Edinburgh.

Yet only this week it was revealed that membership was at its highest level ever - 315,000.

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