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Community / Charitable trust reserves top £315m

Shetland Charitable Trust's headquarters in Lerwick.

SHETLAND Charitable Trust’s reserves at the end of March sat at over £315 million, new figures show.

The value of the trust rose by over £6 million over the 12 months to the end of March.

During the last financial year the trust also made a gain on its investments of nearly £11.2 million.

A report presented to trustees at a remote meeting on Thursday highlighted that equity markets in the 12-month period to March 2020 had been “volatile”.

Business manager Raymond Mainland told trustees that the investments had been performing well up until Covid-19 started having an impact in mid-February.

“Despite this volatility, in the first ten months of the year equities performed extremely well, particularly in the US,” his report said.

“From mid-February 2020, markets collapse because of the Covid-19 crisis. Equity markets around the world dropped by as much as 30 per cent.

“There was a gradual recovery up to the end of March, with this recovery counting through to April, May and June, again particularly in the US.”

The value of the trust’s externally managed investments at the end of March sat at £301.2 million. This was a rise from £282 million.

But they only had a return of 4.6 per cent, which is some way off 2018/19’s return of 11.5 per cent.

The trust’s financial plan assumes a medium-term return of 6.5 per cent.

Since the trust began in 1976 as the oil industry kicked off in the isles it has paid out over £320 million to local organisations with the aim of improving the quality of life for all people in Shetland.