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Community / Recruitment for new amenity trust chief could be a lengthy process

Shetland Amenity Trust's main office in Lerwick.Shetland Amenity Trust's main office at Garthspool in Lerwick.

IT COULD take “a while” before a permanent chief executive of Shetland Amenity Trust is appointed.

Acting chief executive Sandy Middleton said that due to the nature of recruitment at that level the process could go on for an “unknown period”.

Middleton, usually head of engagement at the trust, was brought into the role on an interim basis when Mat Roberts left the organisation in December.

Both parties continue to say that they are unable to comment on his departure.

Sandy Middleton.

Speaking on Wednesday, Middleton said trustees have asked her to stay on as acting chief executive until the recruitment process can be “kicked off and implemented”.

“We’re just trying to manage the workload amongst the management team and the staff whilst that process goes on,” she said.

When asked if there was a challenge of upping staff morale when she took on the interim role, Middleton said there is “always uncertainty when you get changes like that”.

Head of operations Adam Johnson also left the trust at the end of the year.

But Middleton said she is “working very closely with the staff and the team, and they’ve all been phenomenally supportive, and we need to keep working on that”.

“It’s always difficult when you lose key staff, there’s always going to be uncertainty, so we’re just working together to work through it,” she said.

Middleton added that the trustees of the amenity trust are “very positive about the way forward and they’ve been relaying that to staff”.

“I think generally people are reasonably positive that we can work our way through this,” she said.

The interim chief, meanwhile, said that ideas are being bounced around for ways to celebrate Shetland Amenity Trust’s 40th birthday in 2023, although no firm plans have been made.

The charitable organisation, which oversees sites and attractions like the museum, Sumburgh Head lighthouse and Old Scatness, aims to preserve Shetland’s natural and cultural heritage.

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