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National Trust closes properties

6 March 09 18:31 GMT

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), has announced plans to change the way 11 of its properties are managed after being forced to look at cost savings.

Hill of Tarvit Mansion House in Fife will close and the David Livingstone Centre at Blantyre will be returned to trustees unless new funding is found.

Other changes will see buildings close at some properties with the surrounding gardens remaining open.

On Thursday the trust was forced to announce up to 91 job losses.

Leith Hall House in Aberdeenshire will close but the gardens will stay open.

External sponsorship will be sought for Barry Mill in Angus and Hugh Miller's Cottage in Cromarty.

Kellie Castle in Fife will be operated by volunteers but will also close to visitors if the current deficit cannot be resolved, with the grounds remaining open.

Garden properties at Arduaine in Argyll and Inveresk in Midlothian will close, as will the Mountain Visitor Centre at Ben Lawers in Perthshire.

Haddo House in Aberdeenshire will focus solely on functions with the shop, tearooms and gardens remaining open.

Hutchesons' Hall in Glasgow will be let to a long-term tenant.

Chief executive Kate Mavor said they were "difficult decisions" forced upon the trust by difficult times.

"We will make every effort to work with our staff and external partners to minimise the changes to these properties," she said.

"Our members and supporters can rest assured that we will only propose closure, or in the case of the David Livingstone Centre, relinquish management of a property, if it is absolutely necessary.

"However the Trust is firm in its belief that doing nothing about the effects of the economic downturn is simply not an option."

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