Funding for a better future

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Published: 28 June 2024

Community funder aiming for bigger bang from its bucks

Millions of pounds a year are on offer to local charities and community groups that show how they will improve the quality of life in Shetland in the coming years.

The goals of boosting wellbeing and reducing disadvantage across the islands are at the heart of Shetland Charitable Trust’s (SCT) new strategy for 2025-2030.

With its 50th anniversary approaching in 2026, SCT has fine-tuned its vision for Shetland as “a place to live a happy and confident life, surrounded by a community that encourages and supports everyone”.

While other small communities around the country can only dream of £9 million-a-year grant payouts, SCT is looking to increase the impact and the benefits from such funding.

The first glimpse of the reshaped strategy in action is the opening this week of the new Large Grant Scheme. Charitable organisations are invited to bid for funding for up to five years, potentially safeguarding the community services they provide at a time of cutbacks and closures across the country.

Trust chair Robert Leask said: “I’m conscious how fortunate we are to have extra funds available in Shetland focused on improving the quality of life, especially to help those who could benefit most. This is certainly not true for most communities across Scotland.”

SCT wants all interested groups to show how grant money would have a positive impact on the trust’s quality of life goals – promoting a more equal and inclusive community with services that are accessible to all. 

They will be asked to show how they are responding more effectively to different voices in the community and how the impact of any grants will be felt across the islands.

Mr Leask said: “Integral to the new strategy is our desire to work more closely with the groups that we fund to maximise the benefits for all and to highlight all the positives that flow from their efforts.”

SCT’s grant funds come from the profits it generates by growing the community funds invested across world stock markets, valued recently at around £430m.

The Large Grant Scheme is open to charitable organisations with a turnover of at least £50,000 a year. Groups can seek funds to pay towards their running costs as well as projects that they plan.

Applications can be made now, through SCT’s website. The deadline is noon on 30th August.






Contact: John Robertson  Tel: 07775 407 796

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