HAMPSHIRE Cultural Trust’s grant predictions were ‘too ambitious and risky’ to attract support.

Those were the words used when Southampton City Council rejected joining the trust, according to a report.

The city council’s Chipperfield Advisory Committee also heard that the council would face additional costs for the first four years if the decision was made to integrate with the trust, at meeting held in July 2016.

As previously reported, the trust is currently proposing job losses to help balance the books following reductions in grants, with questions being raised over what that means for the historically important artifacts it manages.

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A spokeswoman denied that the decision had anything to do with the charity’s current situation, with chief executive Dr Janet Owen previously saying the cuts were “in order to meet the planned reductions in local authority grants”.

The advisory committee also heard in 2016 that the “highly ambitious” trust forecasts would increase the risk “to both Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) and city council. Southampton council retained property and landlord risk as a result of HCT tenancy.”

The decision was made not to progress integration between the council and the trust.

A trust spokeswoman said redundancy processes were ongoing.