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Community / Amenity trust’s ‘worst case scenario’ would see sites closed for entire season

Shetland Museum and Archives remains the most popular visitor attraction in Shetland according to the latest survey. Photo Shetland Amenity TrustShetland Museum and Archives. Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

SHETLAND Amenity trust has begun contingency planning for a worst case scenario which would see its sites closed for the whole 2020 tourist season.

The trust shut its attractions and sites, such as the Shetland Museum and Archives, earlier this month in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Chief executive Mat Roberts said on Friday that it remains unclear as to when the sites would re-open, with the trust set to take a “significant” financial hit this year as a result.

Contingency planning for a worst case scenario is now underway.

“Our worst case scenario goes out as far as six months, and that effectively writes off the season,” Roberts said.

“We’re following the first minister’s guidance and when it’s decided that we are allowed to open then we will make our decision then, but it’s not looking particularly positive.”

Roberts said the trust should receive vital core funding from the Shetland Charitable Trust next week as planned, “and the indication is that the council will also give us the first six months of funding this coming month”.

“But the second six months we don’t know about,” he said.

“The funding that we get from the charitable trust and the council is dependent on delivering various outcomes and services, and we have to have conversations with them about what the second six months will look like.”

Roberts said like other organisations and businesses, the trust is going “from day to day at the moment”.

He added that there was still nothing specific in the government’s financial support package for organisations in the charitable sector that delivers services like the amenity trust does.

“We’re looking at all the various funding that’s now available, and trying to decide where should apply for funding and how we should apply for it,” Roberts said.