SHETLAND Amenity Trust’s financial situation has started to improve, according to chief executive Mat Roberts.
A board meeting heard on Friday morning that the organisation made a loss of just over £290,000 in 2017/18, an improvement of more than £130,000 on the previous year’s figures.
The charity’s bank overdraft at the year end of 2017/18 had been reduced from £758,469 (2016/17) to £712,988, he said.
Roberts told trustees that although the organisation had returned a loss, it was still solvent as it had net assets of well over £10 million.
He said: “The agreement with our bank our and funding partners is that this is a five-year turnaround.”
Shetland Amenity Trust shed around ten members of staff over the last year in an attempt to control costs and live within its means.
Meanwhile, a project group has been appointed to draw up a new strategic plan for the trust by March 2019.
Mat Roberts will be joined by trustees Richard Jones and Alison Moncrieff as well as the four new heads of departments (business services, developments, engagement and operations), which are likely to be appointed next month.
“We don’t have a strategic plan at the moment and we need one. We need to know the direction we travel,” he said.
New cost pressures however could potentially occur as the trust is seeking to find a solution to a leaking roof at the Sumburgh Head visitor centre and also its boat store at Staney Hill.
Referring to Sumburgh Head Roberts said: “The design that was put forward and agreed and accepted was one that would withstand the weather that we can expect for Sumburgh Head.
“There appears to be some doubt at the moment as to whether or not that design actually was built.
“We have to undertake further investigations to whether or not the design was implemented as drawn or whether or not is was not. At the moment I don’t know. We are in a conversation with the contractor.”
The Sumburgh Head lighthouse visitor centre opened in May 2014 following a £5.4 million refurbishment.At the time the trust expressed its delight with the workmanship of the Northern Irish contractor Corramore Construction.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 350 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or by monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News