The Angling Trust has announced a number of cuts to its central operations in Nottingham and Leominster. Despite widespread publicity and distribution of more than half a million membership leaflets, the level of recruitment has to date, fallen below expectations. This consequential shortfall in revenue, along with higher than expected costs, has created a situation which was threatening the viability of the Trust.
Of 4 million anglers less than 1% have joined the Trust – many more were expected to have signed up and, despite thousands of further members of former organisations due to renew in the remaining months of the year, the Board was not confident the organisation could continue to provide sufficient service to members without making savings.
This shortfall, added to difficulties created by the merger, presented a difficult situation which could only be rectified by reducing the overheads of the organisation. Consequently deep cuts have been made and a number of staff have been made redundant.
“These measures are necessary to balance the Angling Trust’s books. It is difficult to conceal the board’s disappointment in the response we have had from anglers. However, we expect to be able to continue at a satisfactory level of service.” Said Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith, the Trust’s chairman.
“More than ever before, angling needs representation at national level to continue the fight against pollution, inadequate legislation, illegal canoeing, poaching, predation and all the other threats facing angling today.” Angling needs to have a strong body to promote our unique sport, increase participation and ensure that the whole business flourishes. For only £20 per angler, this can easily be done, but we need every individual angler to join as a member themselves, as well as their clubs and sponsorship from all those who benefit from the £3billion angling business”. “Anyone can join the Trust today and ensure the sport is represented at a national and international level by completing an application form, visiting www.anglingtrust.net or calling 0844 7700616,” he continued.
Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: “Anglers need to imagine what the future might look like without a national body to represent their needs, and join the Angling Trust now. We have worked very hard before and after the merger to develop the national body but it seems that too many anglers think that others will support the cause for them. Anglers have to realise that having a central body representing their interests, protecting their angling and campaigning to ensure we can all go fishing tomorrow does require a commitment from everyone today.”