Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Robust review of National Trust

George Reid
The former presiding officer will report his findings next year

The former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament has promised a 'robust and independent' review of the National Trust for Scotland.

George Reid also said it is important that the trust's 310,000 members are consulted during the review.

The conservation charity recently sparked protest after cutting 65 jobs and mothballing a number of properties to save money.

The trust has commissioned a number of reviews in the past decade.

George Reid's role is to help the trust achieve long-term stability as well as reviewing the way it is run.

He will report his findings publicly every month before the final review is published next year.

Mr Reid said: "I shall consult widely and work in transparency. Apart from listening to office holders and staff, it is vitally important that the 310,000 members are able to have their say.

"I shall be taking evidence through interviews, written submissions and focus groups not just in Edinburgh but throughout Scotland.

New ideas

The trust has commissioned a number of reviews over the past decade which have largely focused on governance or organisational issues.

A further study was already scheduled for 2010 and on 30 October the Trust Council agreed that the Reid Review would take a much more strategic approach to its general direction and management in future.

George Reid has carried out a number of strategic reviews in the public, private and voluntary sectors
Duke of Buccleuch
President, National Trust for Scotland

Mr Reid will be supported by a Steering Group of experts with established reputations in the fields of finance, audit, heritage and membership organisations, the majority of whom will not have current trust connections.

Their names will be announced at the end of November.

The trust chief executive Kate Mavor said: "Difficult times are often the catalyst for positive new ideas.

"I welcome the different perspectives a review will bring to help us on our continuing path to modernise the trust and strengthen its long-term financial position.

"I am especially pleased to know that staff and members' contributions will play a key part."

The president of the National Trust for Scotland, the Duke of Buccleuch, added: "George Reid has carried out a number of strategic reviews in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

"We are delighted that he has agreed to commit so much time to reviewing the role of the trust in preserving and promoting the heritage of Scotland."

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