YORK Civic Trust has cut back all its work to the bare essentials and placed most of its staff on furlough from today.

Since the lockdown its employees have been working from home to continue the charity’s work protecting and improving the city’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Staff have also been working on preserving and maintaining Fairfax House and its exhibits.

But now the Trust has decided for financial reasons it has to reduce its work to the absolute minimum.

In a joint statement, its chair Stephen Lusty and chief executive Andrew Morrison, said: “As we progress through this monumentally disruptive and shocking year, the outlook for the timetable to re-open our museum and shop, as well as income earned from our rental properties and our investments, looks ever more uncertain and full of financial risk.”

“This decision was not taken lightly, but was considered the right decision to safeguard our organisation’s future”.

They say the shutdown will initially be for three weeks, but may be “much longer”.

Three employees will continue working.