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Community / Inflation warning made at Charitable Trust meeting

THE FINANCIAL markets are likely to stay volatile until inflation moves in the opposite direction, a meeting of Shetland Charitable Trust heard.

It comes after the value of the trust’s investments dropped by around £30 million to £435 million between January and April.

Political tensions in Ukraine and Russia and increasing inflationary pressures have affected the performance of the financial markets.

Business manager Raymond Mainland told a meeting of the trust on Thursday that the situation in Ukraine has had a “significant impact”.

And he added that until inflation – which currently sits at a 40 year high of nine per cent – moves in the opposite direction there will be continued volatility.

Mainland also reiterated that the trust, which draws from its reserves every year to fund community groups, has no links to Russian investments.

Trust chairman Andrew Cooper acknowledged that the invasion of Ukraine had affected the world – and conceded that “we have to see how it all goes”.

Meanwhile there were words of praise at Thursday’s meeting for the trust’s capital works bridging loan scheme.

It is designed to provide interest free loans to community organisations undertaking capital projects to help them with cash flow problems while they wait on funding.

The largest bridging loan dished out in 2021/22 was £400,000 for the Scalloway Community Development Company, which is building a caravan site at Asta.

Trustee Margaret Roberts hailed it as “such as positive scheme” and Cooper said it was “really valuable” for projects the length and breadth of the isles – with groups in Fetlar and Yell for instance benefitting in recent years.