The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has revealed its plans for an organisational restructure to cut its spending by £1.2m, including a number of redundancies.

The park confirmed the restructure on Thursday, with Chief Executive Richard Leafe saying they were”’left with no alternative” due to the financial toll caused by the pandemic.

According to the authority, ‘a number’ of people have stepped forward to accept voluntary redundancy, following a six-week consultation period with its 200-staff, members and union.

As a result, LDNPA has said the number of compulsory redundancies is likely to be fewer than ten.

Despite these redundancies, six new roles have been created, and the Authority will take advantage of the Government’s Kickstart programme for 16-24 year olds by recruiting three apprentice rangers.

Key changes to how the organisation will work from April next year include a merging and reorganisation of their strategy and park management services to create a new service, which will provide specialist expertise to look after the National Park’s 3000km rights of ways, patrol lakes and landholdings, deliver improved access and support the Park’s visitors and communities. Visitor services will also see reduced opening hours during off-peak times and LDNPA endeavours to reduce overheads for its support and management services.

Mr Leafe said:“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.”