Community / Charitable trust reserves grow by over £70 million

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

SHETLAND Charitable Trust made a gain of £76.7 million on its investments between April and the end of June as financial markets recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The trust’s latest management accounts show that its reserves at the end of June totalled £389 million.

The figures were presented at a meeting of the trust on Thursday.

Chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said it has been a “positive three months and good to see the funds climbing in the right direction again”.

“But we are essentially just back to where we were pre-Covid-19,” he added.

“The markets are particularly prone to volatility in these challenging times and we can see the value of investments drop significantly in the space of a few days.

“The trust takes the long view on its investments, gauging their success over years rather than months.

“Our aim is to grow the funds for the future of all islanders while providing sufficient returns each year to spend in a sustainable way in the community.”


The gain on investments, meanwhile, in the 2019/20 financial year stood at a more modest £11.1 million, with coronavirus affecting returns compared to the previous year.

In contrast, the gain on investments in the 2018/19 financial year was £26.9 million.

A report presented to trustees said that until the last week of February there had been a “significant growth” in the value of the trust’s investments.

“The onset of the Covid-19 health crisis in February and March caused markets to drop dramatically, with falls of around 30 per cent in equity markets around the world,” it said.

“Despite this dramatic fall, the trust achieved a positive return on its external investments over the year.”

After a period of cost-cutting, Shetland Charitable Trust – which funds the isles’ main trusts, part of rural community care and a number of groups and charities – has begun to increase its expenditure.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The main grant scheme for the year is up from £7.3 million to £8.4 million, while over £500,000 was disbursed to local charities, groups and organisations earlier this year from a new fund designed to tackle social isolation and inequality.

On top of that the trust has agreed to give a one-off £500,000 grant to the Shetland MRI scanner appeal.

An annual report presented at Thursday’s meeting highlighted that the policy of the board is to invest the reserves to generate income to support charitable expenditure “and to maintain the real value of the reserves in the long term”.

The trust relies in the gains on its investment for its income.

The trust began life in the 1970s to receive and disburse money paid by the oil industry to the local community as compensation for Sullom Voe Terminal operating 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.