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Community / Charitable trust now supports 26 local organisations

SHETLAND Charitable Trust has published a full breakdown of the 26 local organisations that will receive grant funding worth £8.3 million next year.

In a new approach, half the organisations awarded funding have not benefited from an annual trust grant previously, the trust said.

Meanwhile, the more regular funding recipients are being placed on a more secure footing with provisional grant offers stretching up to four years ahead.

The largest beneficiary from the main grant scheme for 2021/22 will be Shetland Recreational Trust, which is set to receive over £3.1m (38 per cent of the total budget) to run its network of six leisure centres, sports fields and two swimming pools.

Just under £2m (24 per cent) will be granted to Shetland Islands Council to help pay for the higher standard of community care provided in Shetland and its network of care centres.

Other major beneficiaries include Shetland Amenity Trust (£1.17m); Shetland Arts Development Agency (£650,000) and substantially increased grants for social enterprise company COPE Ltd (£225,000) and Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau (£209,400).

The grant allocations were agreed at a meeting of the charitable trust last Thursday.

Shetland Charitable Trust chairman Andrew Cooper. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

Trustees also approved a contingency fund of up to £1.3m to provide further assistance to COPE and the three major trusts if they suffer a second year of drastically reduced income from losing customers during Covid-19 restrictions.

Trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “Trustees were keen to see a wider spread of groups accessing funding than in previous years so it’s pleasing that we received so many good bids and have been able to offer help to twice the number of organisations.”

Among the organisations gaining their first full-year grants are Shetland Women’s Aid (£100,000); Mind Your Head (£75,000) and Shetland Care Attendants Scheme (£74,300).

Cooper added that a core aim of all the trust’s redesigned grant schemes is to reduce inequality and social isolation, which applicants had to address in their funding bids.

The full list of recipients can be found here.

Trustees heard last week that the value of its investments had swelled to some £411 million as markets fought back following a Covid-19 slump in the early part of 2020.