Crisis talks at LI as cuts rise to £900k

The Landscape Institute (LI) is facing even greater financial woes than previously thought, after it revealed last night it could be forced to make cuts of £900,000.

More than 100 landscape architects came from all over the UK to attend an extraordinary general meeting held last night (22 January) to allow LI members to share their views on the crisis.

In a statement to members, LI chief executive Alastair McCapra revealed the council must now try to make cuts of up to £900,000 following further analysis of its financial situation.

The LI ended last financial year (2007/8) with a deficit of £220,000, McCapra revealed. That arose from a reduction in income from Gift Aid, loss of advertising revenue, and accounting errors.

A new forecast shows that the LI will end this financial year with a deficit of around £300,000 owing to loss of income.

The economic downturn, along with increased fixed costs such as rent, had made matters worse, he added.

"I am trying to find cuts in the order of £900,000, which is a fairly daunting task," McCapra warned.

Campaigners have lobbied to save the LI's library and archive, following a proposal to transfer it to another organisation.

The Landscape Institute's council will have to make decisions on where cuts can be made. Among the ideas to be considered were:

  • Abolition of Vista magazine and a move to online publishing
  • Reduction of Landscape magazine from monthly to quarterly or twice-yearly
  • No conferences next year
  • No awards
  • No face-to-face meetings of committees in the first half of next year

"We have a very difficult financial situation we are working to get ourselves out of," said Alastair McCapra.

The LI's council will convene a further meeting before the end of February.

For more, read Horticulture Week magazine on 30 January.

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