Up to 50 at risk of redundancy as Findhorn Foundation found to be ‘not financially viable’

The Findhorn Foundation has announced that it will end its education operations this autumn after revealing it is no longer financially viable in its current configuration.

The ecovillage and spiritual community will undertake a consultation to move forward, but warns that there is a risk it may have to make up to 50 staff redundant.

The foundation, which currently runs courses and retreats, as well as a number of commercial businesses, is proposing to cease its educational operations by the end of September 2023.

It has stressed that the following will continue to operate:

  • Findhorn Bay Holiday Park (no change to bookings or availability)
  • Phoenix Shop
  • Phoenix Cafe
  • New Findhorn Directions
  • Universal Hall

After meeting the charity’s financial commitments, trustees hope to continue the foundation’s mission and vision in 2024 under a new and sustainable operating model as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).

Challenging times

 Chief Executive of the Findhorn Foundation, Terence Gilbey, said: “This is a very challenging time for the Findhorn Foundation, and particularly for our colleagues who are potentially at risk of redundancy.

“We will be supporting them in every way we can during this period. Recent years have presented many challenges, with Brexit impacting our visitors and volunteers, Covid closing our operations for many months, on-site fires taking our ability to serve guests at the Park Ecovillage, and finally the huge hike in energy bills impacting our ability to keep our buildings running.

“Our finances have been in decline over a long period with increased strain caused by the pandemic and, although we have already been through multiple restructuring processes, those measures alone were not enough to stabilise the charity’s finances.

“Since the late 80s and early 90s we have sold non-core assets to cover our losses but, unfortunately, that is not a solution. The steps we are taking now will, we hope, give us the opportunity to develop a new structure and operating model which will give us the best chance for a more financially sustainable future.”

Not the end

Chair of the trustees, Mark Anderson, added: “This will be upsetting news for many and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone around the world who will be saddened by this, and particularly to all our staff, who will be most directly affected. We will be doing our utmost to support them during this difficult time, and working with our local and global community to properly and successfully navigate these challenges in a way which brings compassion and kindness to everyone affected, and which allows us to acknowledge and celebrate the decades of passion, hard work and achievement of the Foundation and Community.

“Although we do not believe there is a viable way forward in our current configuration, we do not see this as the end of our vision and mission.

“After reviewing and restructuring education activities, and subject to appropriate approvals and regulatory oversight, we hope that the new SCIO can emerge next year with a new way forward which will be both financially viable and have significant impact and public benefit in the world.”

The Findhorn Foundation intends to sell non-core assets at The Park to the community or other organisations which are aligned with the Foundation’s purpose, and will support community organisations to take ownership.

New Findhorn Directions (NFD), the Foundation’s trading subsidiary, will continue to manage rentals and utilities for Park residents and the Titleholders Association will continue their work of oversight management of the site.      


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