TRADE union bosses have revealed they raised concerns about the financial stability of Hampshire Cultural Trust when council workers first joined the charity.

It comes as the organisation has just finished consulting staff over job losses following a reduction in local authority grant money.

Some staff at Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), which manages museums and culturally important artifacts on behalf of both Hampshire County Council (HCC) and Winchester City Council (WCC), have left the organisation voluntarily as part of the process.

Union representatives said there were no compulsory redundancies and that they felt the consultation process was “properly adhered to”.

But David Anderson, branch secretary at Hampshire Unison, said: “The vast majority of employees were employed by HCC when the trust was first set up. The proposals were to move from HCC contracts to HCT contracts.

“I advised that there was a pitfall because they were very reliant on income generation from outside sources. A lot of funding came from Heritage Lottery grants.”

As previously reported, Southampton City Council (SCC) declined to integrate with HCT in 2016 as it felt grant predictions were ‘too ambitious and risky’ to attract support.

SCC Cllr Satvir Kaur said: “It was my decision not to integrate, and those were (still are) my views. It is never nice seeing an organisation struggling financially. SCC has faced over £100 million worth of cuts from central government so I am very empathetic. As a council we still have a working relationship with HCT.”

A HCT spokeswoman said: “HCT has had no issues with unions since the trust was launched. We have a number of current, ongoing projects with Heritage Lottery funding which support our work with communities across Hampshire and we plan to secure further funding in the future.”