A Deed of Trust was granted by Shetland Islands Council (SIC) in September 1976, with SIC as sole Trustee. The Shetland Islands Council Charitable Trust (SICCT) was activated in May 1978 by advertising in the Scotsman and Shetland Times. On 5 March 1979 SIC resolved that “unless and until it resolved to the contrary, all future disturbance receipts would be paid to the SICCT”.
In the late 1980’s, concern was raised that the SICCT was too close to SIC, and was in danger of being considered part of the local authority. At that time there were rules which governed what capital expenditure the local authority could undertake, and there were fears that if SICCT was seen as part of the local authority, it could be prevented from undertaking capital projects. The solution was to sign a legal document, in which the SIC as sole trustee “gave” SICCT to all the councillors as individuals, and appointed two additional trustees, the head teacher of the Anderson High School and the Lord Lieutenant of Shetland. All these appointments were to be as a result of their office, so after a council election some trustees would not be elected, so would cease to be trustees.
The next change came in 1997, as a result of a clause in the original Trust Deed which said that the SICCT could not accumulate income after 21 years.
It was decided to create a new trust, identical in most ways to the old trust, but taking out the clause on accumulating income. At that time Trustees also decided to put in a clause which would make it easier to make changes to the Trust Deed in future. The new trust was called the Shetland Islands Council Charitable Trust, and the old trust was renamed SICCT 1976. SICCT 1976 was wound up in 2010.
The new SICCT was renamed Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT) in 2003, and became a completely separate body from the SIC, employing its own staff.
The next big change came in December 2011, when Trustees agreed to reconstitute the Trust to further separate itself from Shetland Islands Council. This came about as a result of the Charities and Investments (Scotland) Act 2005, which set new standards of governance for charities. The Trust comprised of a board of 15 Trustees, seven of whom were appointed by Shetland Islands Council and eight of whom were appointed.
In May 2016, Trustees voted to reduce the number of Councillor-Trustees to up to four, with the remaining 11 board members being appointed, a decision that was approved by the charities regulator OSCR in April 2017.
In June 2018, Trustees voted to reduce the maximum number of Trustees from 15 to 12, comprising only of selected Trustees.