SCT grant spend jumps to £16.4m next year as major building repair scheme is speeded up
Shetland Charitable Trust (SCT) is to dramatically increase its grant spending by nearly £6.7m next year, awarding a total aid package of £16.4m across its three funding schemes.
The spending hike is largely to meet strong demand from four major charitable organisations which face mounting bills to repair venues and sports buildings dotted around Shetland.
SCT is seeking to front-load its new three-year £12m Capital Grant Scheme with a spend of up to £7.7m in its first year instead of the £4m proposed previously. The increase comes after SCT received bids totalling £9.8m in the first round of applications and with most of those funds requested for spending in 2022/23.
Under the scheme Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Arts Development Agency and Voluntary Action Shetland can access funding for major projects to renovate or renew fittings and equipment in well-used buildings like leisure centres, swimming pools, museums and heritage centres and the Market House voluntary centre.
The increased spending for 2022/23 was approved by SCT trustees meeting remotely on Thursday via Zoom.
Trustees also agreed payments of £8.6m under the Main Grant Scheme, an increase of £280,000 on this year. These comprise funding packages for over 30 local projects and organisations, including support for Shetland Islands Council’s community care service throughout the islands. Details of the allocations for the Main Grant Scheme will be released next week once applicants have been informed.
SCT chair Dr Andrew Cooper said: “The continuing success of our external investment policies put us in the fortunate position where we can afford to keep revising our budgets upwards. It’s important that we seek to optimise our help to the local voluntary sector and other key charitable organisations.”
SCT’s invested funds were valued at £485.2m at the end of September, up £46.5m during the six-month period and representing a return of 10.6 per cent. At the same time last year funds stood at £411.8m.
SCT reported that equity markets performed strongly in the three months to June as economies opened up with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. However, the following three months to September saw the recovery slowing and inflation starting to take effect.
Since the trust was set up in 1976 it has paid out around £335m in grant aid to local organisations.
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