Community / Charitable trust ‘enters new era’ after approving financial strategy

SCT headquarters on North Road, Lerwick. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Charitable Trust is “entering a new era” after trustees signed off a new financial plan which should see grants to community groups increase over the coming years.

The was message the trustee Ian Napier at a meeting of the trust on Thursday.

At the moment there is a cap on Shetland Charitable Trust expenditure – grants to the community as well as management costs – of £9 million.

But this will rise to £10 million for 2020/21 and £11.11 million by 2024/25.

This should mean that the charities and community groups which receive funding from the trust should see more money come their way.

The move comes off the back of the trust’s investments performing well in the market over the last few years, combined with a tightening of the purse strings when it came to spending.

Some groups, like the Swan Trust and Shetland Folk Festival, had seen their grant drop to zero by 2019/20.


A central theme across the trust’s funding commitments over 2020 to 2025 will be to “promote inclusion and reduce inequalities” in Shetland.

All organisations which benefit from trust funding will be asked to demonstrate how they are addressing these aims.

Napier said at Thursday’s meeting that the new financial plan “represents a real turnaround in the trust’s position”.

“We had to take some tough decisions to try to bring expenditure back into line with the trust’s income,” he explained.

“We are now entering a new era. Hopefully the long term benefits will prevail.”

Napier added that the only income the charitable trust receives now is returns on investments, instead of the funds from the oil industry which originally were passed to the organisation in its early days after the opening of Sullom Voe Terminal.

“It’s not just cash we can spend willy nilly,” he warned.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Trustees also heard on Thursday that the trust’s net value at the end of the 2018/19 financial year was £309.3 million.

This represented an increase of £24.9 million on the previous year, mainly due to gains on investments of nearly £27 million.

The charitable expenditure during the year was £8.4 million.

The largest grants delivered by the trust are to groups like Shetland Recreational Trust and Shetland Amenity Trust, as well as the rural care model and Shetland Arts.

Writing in a report to trustees on the last financial year, chairman Andrew Cooper said:

“The trust is in a strong financial position despite the troubles of the world, and this reflects the excellent investment decisions made in the sure hands of the investment advisory committee chair and members.

“We are now in a position to review our strategic plans, with a focus on a new disbursement plan, which we hope to start implementing in the coming year.”

Since the trust began in 1976, it has paid out over £320 million to organisations in Shetland with the aim of improving the quality of life for all people in Shetland.

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 600 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 monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.