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Community / Charitable trust unveils new look £8.4m grant scheme

Shetland Charitable Trust headquarters at Lerwick's North Road. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Charitable Trust is inviting local charities to submit new bids for a share of its revamped main grant scheme worth around £8.4 million a year.

Organisations have six weeks until 31 August to submit their bids for 2021 and beyond with no cap on the amount they can apply for.

Applicants will be able to seek funding for up to four years, making it easier to plan for the longer term.

The trust, which administers around £300 million of community funds, has been providing core funding for a number of large charities for many years, but as part of a new approach is now seeking to “expand and refresh” the range of projects it supports.

The annual budget for main grants has been increased form £7.3 million to £8.4 million.

Trustees are said to be particularly keen to support projects which tackle inequality and social isolation.

Launching the new scheme trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “Shetland has an extraordinary network of organisations dedicated to helping others and they are having to evolve continually to meet the changing demands of these turbulent times.

“The trust too needs to be able to respond and adjust its grant funding to best serve the community’s need. We are optimistic that the groups we fund – and others that we haven’t funded before – will come forward with innovative proposals for making Shetland an even better place to live than it is already.”

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

Last year the trust paid £7.3m towards the running costs of 13 charitable beneficiaries of which £6.7m went to four major organisations: Shetland Recreational Trust, the rural care model of residential and day care centres, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts Development Agency.

Last week the trust also awarded an additional £530,173 to 16 projects to boost services for vulnerable and disadvantaged people during the current financial year.