THE trust set up to protect Hampshire heritage and culture has announced it will be cutting jobs following a reduction in grants.

Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) revealed that it will need to cut 10 per cent of its workforce in order to meet the revised forecast.

The trust, which was set up as an independent charity in 2014 to take over the running of Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council assets, currently holds 2.5 million items and is supported by more than 400 volunteers.

The exact figure of how many jobs would be lost is not yet clear.

Dr Janet Owen, its chief executive, said: “In order to meet the planned reductions in local authority grants that were agreed when Hampshire Cultural trust was established, there will be an approximate 10 per cent overall reduction in headcount.

“This is being delivered through a fitness for purpose organisational review which focuses more resources from central teams into delivering local benefit.

“We are replacing our current arrangement of central specialist subject curators and exhibition officers with cultural experience roles that will be responsible for curatorship and exhibitions within each work stream.”

The trust said as part of the review it would be increasing the number of posts in its museums, but it is unclear whether these will be paid positions.

Dr Owen added: “For the first time, Milestones Museum and Basing House [in Basingstoke] will have a dedicated leadership, operations and cultural experience team. A similar team will be introduced in Winchester to support delivery of an exciting culture and heritage programme.

“HCT is on a long-term journey of development that needs to combine effective delivery and future financial resilience.”

Among the museums it manages are the Winchester City Museum on The Square, the Eastleigh Museum, on

the High Street, and the Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham.

The trust also looks after the Bursledon Windmill, Chilcomb House in Winchester, the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton and the Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham.