Trust set to issue core funding support for new financial year
Shetland Charitable Trust is preparing to pay out its core funding grants to local charities and community organisations, which will help keep them going during the coronavirus crisis.
Grants due from 1st April will proceed as planned, providing cash support for the network of rural care homes, Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust, the Shetland Arts Development Agency and a host of voluntary sector organisations.
Chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “It is crucial that Shetland is able to retain the network of trusts and charities whose services we are grateful for in more normal times. These activities have had to be curtailed greatly to help stem the spread of the virus but these organisations will continue to incur wage and running costs.
“Payment of grant instalments will provide some reassurance and stability for the coming months while we all watch and await developments with grave concern. It is still early days and the Trust will aim to respond and adapt its role as required in the best interests of the Shetland community.”
The latest virus-related restrictions have forced SCT to suspend its new funding scheme which was offering £880,000 in extra grants to help tackle inequality and social exclusion. Many of the new activities that were being proposed to the Trust for the Main Grants Scheme would not have been able to proceed as planned due to the circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Trust’s externally invested funds continue to be impacted by the difficult financial markets worldwide resulting from the spread of Covid-19.
Dr Cooper said: “We are fortunate that Trust funds benefited from strong growth early in the financial year, which helped reduce some of the impact of markets plummeting in recent months. As it stands, Trust funds are basically back where they started the financial year. The externally invested funds are currently valued at around £280 million, having begun 2019/2020 at £284m, before we spent around £9m on annual funding for local organisations.
“The Trust invests for the long term and trustees put in place a prudent financial strategy in September. We don’t anticipate having to amend our approach at this stage but we continue to monitor events closely.”
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