Community / Charitable trust funds recovering after stock market plunge

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

SHETLAND Charitable Trust (SCT) saw a £63.7 million fall in the market value of its investments in the first three months of this financial year, dropping from £449.4 million to £372.1 million in June.

But since then markets have recovered significantly, restoring the value of trust funds to £397 million by the end of August.

The turbulent start to 2022/23 was due largely to global inflationary pressures, a downturn in consumer spending and the reverberations of war in Ukraine.

Despite the big hit, SCT expects to be able to stick to its five-year spending strategy for 2020 to 2025 which has a projected budget of £18.8 million for 2023/24.

As a long-term investor, SCT aims to accommodate market fluctuations, gauging the performance of its funds over periods of three years.

Meanwhile, SCT’s published accounts for the year ended 31 March 2022 demonstrate that it was a stable year for trust funds.


Overall, their value fell £7.3 million to £449.4 million. Around £9.5 million was spent on grants to local groups, up £1 million on the previous year.

The large fluctuations that can occur in the stock market are highlighted by the contrasting results of the previous year. In 2020/21 SCT investments saw an unexpected jump of £135 million due largely to changing consumer habits during the Covid crisis.

The trust aims to remain self-sustaining by spending only what its investments produce in average growth above inflation.

It helps to pay for the running costs and the special projects of more than 40 organisations in Shetland, including the rural care centres, local charities, Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Arts Development Agency and Voluntary Action Shetland.

The trust began in 1976 with a pot of £81 million from oil revenues and has since spent around £350 million on community services.

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