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Community / Charitable trust invites bids for funding

SCT chairman Dr Andrew Cooper.

LOCAL organisations are being invited to bid for funding from Shetland Charitable Trust as the charity loosens its purse strings.

Bids of up to £100,000 are encouraged from charitable organisations for projects that are designed to reduce inequalities and social exclusion in Shetland.

It comes after the trust agreed to increase its maximum grant budget from £7.3 million to £8.2 million for 2020/21 following a number of years of cost-cutting.

The new pot of money of up to £1 million forms part of the trust’s main grant scheme.

The scheme is open to organisations with a turnover of more than £50,000 which undertakes charitable activities in fields of social care and welfare, arts and culture, heritage and the environment or sport and recreation.

Applicants will have to outline the gaps identified in existing services or activities and how they aim to address these.

Attention should be paid to how grant aid would contribute to promoting inclusion and reducing inequalities, what outcomes will be achieved and how these would be measured and evaluated.

The trust also intends to widen access to its enlarged funding pot from 2021/22 by inviting smaller organisations and individuals to apply through its small grant scheme.

Charitable trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “We are beginning to move in a new direction as a trust and there’s a determination among trustees that the extra funds we can now afford are spent in ways that make a real difference in the community.

“As a trustee board we want to better demonstrate the impacts and outcomes achieved through trust funds”

The first step in the application process is to complete an expression of interest form, which will gauge eligibility for the scheme.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 13 January 2020. Eligible organisations will then be invited to submit full application forms with a view to decisions being made in early June.

The trust is set to hold a series of information sessions at its offices at 22-24 North Road in Lerwick to explain the process and answer questions.

The first two sessions are scheduled for 26 November at 4pm and 27 November at 11am. Places should be booked in advance by emailing grants@shetlandcharitabletrust.co.uk

Forms for expressions of interest, meanwhile, are available by email request, or they can be downloaded from the trust’s website.

The charitable trust was originally funded by Shetland Islands Council’s ‘disturbance payments’ from the oil industry between 1976 and 2000, but it now relies solely on its investment income.

The trust’s net value at the end of the 2018/19 financial year was £309.3 million.

The organisation had suffered criticism for its cost-cutting in light of its value of reserves before implementing its new five-year financial plan in September.