Trust plans £17.9 million spend despite early year losses on the stock markets
Shetland Charitable Trust funds saw a marginal reduction during the second quarter of 2022/23, to stand at £370.6 million at the end of September.
Overall, for the first six months of the financial year, the trust saw a negative return on these external investments of 13.5 per cent. The SCT is a long-term investor and current returns over a three-year period stand at 9.4 per cent.
Meeting on Thursday, trustees signed off on spending plans for 2023/24 worth nearly £17.9 million. The biggest outlay is on the £8.68m Main Grant Scheme which helps fund leisure centres, rural care centres, museums, arts centres and over 20 voluntary organisations.
Trust chair Dr Andrew Cooper said: “Clearly, these are turbulent times and there are few signs of stability returning yet. That makes it all the more important for the trust to provide a bit of certainty to the local organisations and valuable services that rely on it.
“We are fortunate that we still have the funds to give Shetland at least some protection from the harsh realities that are starting to bite everywhere.”
SCT aims to use its available funds to “benefit and improve the quality of life of all people living in Shetland and to preserve the trust reserves for future generations”.
Up to £6.8m from the 2022/23 budget is earmarked for the second year of the Capital Grant Scheme, which pays for repairs and improvements to the buildings and infrastructure of the three large trusts and Voluntary Action Shetland.
The scheme has seen a slow start in its first year. Only £900,000 is expected to be claimed before April due to what the trust said was “a variety of pressures and delays” encountered by the funded bodies.
While the stock market investments may not always turn a profit, SCT does expect to earn income of £500,000 from local sources in the form of rental payments from oil companies for the land that Sullom Voe is built on and potential profits from the trust’s subsidiary company Shetland Heat and Power Limited, which runs the district scheme.
Contact: John Robertson
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