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Community / Value of charitable trust funds rise

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

THE VALUE of Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT) funds has risen back up to nearly £400 million – with an increase of £19.2 million in this financial year so far.

As of Wednesday (13 September) the value stood at £396.4 million.

This comes after a poor year in 2022/23, where inflation and “geo-political tensions” are said to have caused a £57.8 million drop.

Chief executive Ann Black told a SCT meeting on Thursday: “We are pleased to see that the markets are starting to move in the right direction.”

But chair Robert Leask stressed caution over the continuing impact of inflation.

“Trustees are aware that markets are still in a period of volatility but the trust is in the fortunate position of being a long-term investor,” he said.

“Historical trends have, to date, ensured that funds will recover in the future.”

Figures presented to trustees highlighted that the decrease in value of the trust’s funds to £377 million in 2022/23 meant that the charity earned nothing from its year’s activities on the global markets.

Key expenditure included £8.6 million on grants to 28 larger organisations. Around 83 per cent of this went to the three main trusts – recreational, amenity and arts – as well as the social care service.

MEANWHILE uptake of a new Shetland Charitable Trust capital grant scheme for essential repairs and maintenance work has been “slower than predicted”.

A total of £1.7 million from the fund has been utilised to date, despite there being £12 million on offer from 2022 to 2025.

A spokesperson for the trust said the low uptake was down to difficulty getting contractors to do the work, and also the rising cost of materials.

Figures presented to a meeting of the charitable trust on Thursday showed that Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Arts, the recreational and Voluntary Action Shetland have all benefited from funding.

Shetland Arts recently announced it was using some of the funding to renovate the Bonhoga gallery.

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