THE TRUST that runs the Royal Pavilion has hit back at allegations that it is cutting jobs before Christmas while paying bonuses to their senior management.

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust (RPMT) attracted criticism on social media, including from Kemp Town MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, after the GMB union claimed the trust was "set to make staff compulsory redundant two days before Christmas" and said that "the senior management team [are] set to receive large bonus payments".

The organisation strongly denied the claims, with a spokeswoman saying that "no bonuses will be paid to senior staff or any staff this year or in the future", and that a consultation on restructuring is not due to be completed until January next year - with no changes to be announced until then.

In a statement, the RPMT said: "After a year of review, the organisation now has plans to create an even better museum service with an improved structure.

"The plan aims to simplify the workforce structure and cut outgoings, while increasing income to the organisation."

While the trust said staff have been informed and that new posts will be created, they admitted other roles will be removed or changed and said: "This may lead to some staff losses but all will be done to minimise this."

It comes after a difficult 18 months for the culture sector due to Covid, with the trust facing a £1.4 million shortfall for this year. The restructure aims to provide £300,000 in savings.

Hedley Swain, CEO of the trust, said: "As an independent charity, it is important our service is excellent for everyone who visits and enjoys our buildings, collections and programmes.

"We are going through a time of organisational change, which will mean some upheaval for a while.

"We will do everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies. We know this will be a difficult time for some of our people but we will consult fully with all our workforce to ensure the restructure is transparent for everyone."

Responding to the allegations made by the GMB, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP said that the move to make redundancies was "not right".

On Twitter, he said: "I was sceptical of creating the trust, but we were assured it would not mean worse work conditions or layoffs. Brighton and Hove City Council must step in and stop this."

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust was created in October last year and was set up to protect and preserve the venues and collections in the service, while offering a service to visitors from around the world.

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