Positive response to trust’s offer of extra grant cash
Shetland Charitable Trust has received 29 eligible bids to share £881,000 a year in extra grant funds to help tackle inequality and social exclusion in the islands.
The locally based charitable organisations behind the proposals are now being asked to submit their full applications for individual grants of up to £100,000, which will be awarded in June.
A call for expressions of interest in the extra pot of grant aid from the Main Grants Scheme had attracted 35 submissions by the deadline in January but six did not fit the required criteria, which includes addressing clear need or filling gaps in existing services or activities.
The 29 eligible proposals include submissions from 11 organisations which do not already benefit from funding by the trust. Some organisations have submitted several bids. The funding sought for the proposals totalled just over £1.3m, 48% more than the pot of grant cash available.
Trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “The response has been very pleasing with some really worthwhile projects being proposed. There is never enough money to go around but over the next few months we will explore and support the best proposals for making a meaningful difference to people who, for one reason or another, aren’t getting a fair deal from life.”
The trust agreed a new five-year financial strategy in September to increase its overall spending to £10m in 2020/21, rising to £11.1m in 2024/25. Most of the money goes to support Shetland Recreational Trust, the Rural Care Model, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts.
The annual grant budget is rising from £7.3m to £8.2m for 2020/21, made possible after the trust steered its reserves back to the self-sustaining level of over £300m for the first time since 2000.
As well as the increased funding available from the Main Grants Scheme, funds will be offered next year to smaller local charitable organisations and individuals through the Small Grant Scheme.
On top of its annual grant funding, the trust anticipates receiving a request for one-off funding from Shetland’s MRI Scanner Appeal.
Dr Cooper said: “This appeal is of huge interest to us all in Shetland and our trustees are keen to consider what can be done to help. We had an initial discussion with the fundraisers some months ago but the trust has not yet been asked for a grant contribution.
“Under charity regulations, Shetland Charitable Trust can only offer funding after it receives a request for assistance.”
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