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Trust finances in good health

JOBS and services across Shetland that depend on annual funding from the charitable trust are safe until at least 2015, according to trust management.

Shetland Charitable Trust will meet on Tuesday to approve a budget of £10.9 million, the first of a three year budget plan that will set annual expenditure at below £11 million.

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The trust said that while public agencies both locally and nationally struggle to cut their costs, SCT was pleased to be able to offer stability to the three main trusts (Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts Development Agency) and the many voluntary and community groups it supports.

Until 2015 just under £1m a year will go to fund independent community and voluntary organisations, including Shetland Youth Information Service (£188,840), COPE Ltd (£154,967) and Voluntary Action Shetland (£144,367).

Citizens Advice Bureau will receive £147,383 next year, falling to £132,265 when temporary funding for a second welfare rights worker comes to an end in 2013/14.

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A further £2.7m goes to fund schemes, including £2.5m to pay for the operation of the rural care homes. Direct schemes, including the £500,000 Christmas bonus and the building maintenance programme, account for a further £2.2m.

On Tuesday, trustees are being asked to agree a one off payment of £36,180 for Shetland Arts to help them balance their budget.

The organisation incurred unforeseen running costs for the Garrison Theatre when they took it over, and the “spend to save” payment will also help the arts agency reduce its staffing costs by £72,000 a year through reorganisation.

A decision will have to be made regarding a transitional payment of £64,842 to Shetland Recreational Trust, designed to help it align leisure centre opening hours with the needs of the local authority.

SCT has also managed to accommodate a one off payment of £200,000 to repair Scalloway swimming pool’s roof.

SCT chairman Bill Manson said: “I am very pleased to be able to present this budget for trustees to approve, given the difficult economic climate. We are delighted to be able to offer security of core funding to the many bodies which we support.”

The trust meets on Tuesday at 10am in the Lerwick town hall. Trust meetings are open to the public.

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