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Updated statement: Financial challenges at RBG Kew

A Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew spokesperson said, 'The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew faces a £5m "hole" in its 2014/2015 budget. This is as a result of unavoidable rising costs, and reduced operating budget funding from Government and our charitable partner, the Kew Foundation.

'We have managed the predicted budget shortfall to zero in the business plan for 2014/15, requiring a programme of income growth and cost reduction. We have already moved somewhat towards our target reduction of 125 posts. Income growth will come through building visitation, establishing new partnerships, and gaining a greater return from our botanical knowledge and assets.

'In spite of the challenges ahead we remain incredibly optimistic. We have extraordinary talent, cutting-edge facilities, the world’s greatest botanical collections and two inspiring, spectacular landscapes.

'Our executive board is developing a new strategy which will ensure a vibrant and successful future for Kew as a leading visitor attraction and renowned centre of plant science, conservation and horticultural excellence.'

Ends

Press enquiries: call the RBG Kew press office on 0208 332 5607 or email pr@kew.org.