19th September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Charitable Trust’s reserves soar £25 million in three months

A bumper three month period saw Shetland Charitable Trust’s reserves surge to £309 million though chairman Bobby Hunter warned of “volatile” markets.

On Tuesday evening trustees were presented with a report which detailed the trust’s performance in the last financial year. This showed total trust funds rose by £20 million to £284.4 million.

In the first three months of the current financial year the trust’s reserves grew to £309.3 million after recording a surplus of nearly £25 million in the period up to the end of June.

Externally managed investments grew by 11 per cent during that three-month period, increasing the trust’s holdings on global stock markets by £29.5 million. This was said to have followed the improved performance of equities, particularly in Britain and the US.

However, a warning was sounded over the volatility of markets with Mr Hunter saying that the trust is concerned with long-term returns which could “inflation proof” the reserves.

As part of this long-term strategy trust disbursements are to be reduced to £8.5 million by 2020, far below the £20 million funds grew by in the previous financial year or the £24.9 million added to reserves in the first three months of the 2018/19 financial year.

Total spending for the previous financial year, including depreciation, was just shy of £8.8 million. This included around £8 million of charitable grants.

Mr Hunter said: “This represents another strong performance of the trust’s funds, but as we all know markets go down as well as up, and the situation is very volatile at the moment.

“That is why the trust always looks at market returns over the long term. This way, we can inflation proof our reserves for the benefit of future generations.

“We are midway through the implementation of a new financial strategy designed to achieve this, and it is important to underline that our budgeting also remains on target with over £8 million disbursed in 2017-18.”


  1. paula goddard

    Perhaps the trust could help with the scanner ??

  2. peter hamilton

    Perhaps the trust could work with the community to agree how to spend their (not the trust’s) money…

    • Christopher Johnston

      That might happen if the Trust were legally more obligated to the public. At present, the public has no means to influence the Trust since its board is self-perpetuating. The Trust is now more focused on strengthening its reserves than on public needs, witness their statement that their future contributions will not exceed £8.5 million a tear.

    • Wayne Conroy

      Wouldn’t be on stupid windmills thats for sure!

  3. Haydn Gear

    In a windy world with an ever growing need for clean energy, windmills make a whole lot of sense. Untapped sources of wave produced energy will also be of benefit. No dangerous emissions in either case.

    • Christopher Johnston

      Then install enough wind turbines, tidal generation, and energy storage to meet Shetland’s needs, but no more.

    • Wayne Conroy

      The carbon dioxide released from the peat bogs they would dig and the environmental cost of the batteries and getting the windmills to Shetland would outweigh any carbon cost saved. The whole viking energy fiasco is a disgusting waste of money at the publics expense. I am all for clean energy when done correctly… Shame the viking energy plan is not one of those cases.

      The charitable trust are forgetting (or rather choosing to ignore) who they should be serving… The public. The majority voted against their plans for viking energy and were ignored. The trust is now working like a investment company more than a charity – Stopping funds going to worthwhile causes while hoarding the money for more “investments” that no doubt the public will continue to have no say in. So sad!

    • Johan Adamson

      As part of Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council we discussed plans submitted to build roads etc in Weisdale and Kergord as part of the VE project. The disturbance next to someone’s property is very scary and no one would want to be living next to this. So sad, so unnecessary.

  4. John Irvine

    Haydn…. windmills only make sense if you are one of the very few who will benefit financially from them.

    They produce inconsistent and extremely expensive electricity, then add the fact that they will soon be outdated and obsolete by more efficient means of producing power.

    All that then you have the total destruction of our beautiful islands not to mention the poor souls who have to live near them.

    Its very sad that so many have had the wool pulled over their eyes by Viking Energy etc, I say that as they continue to drain the charitable trust.

  5. ian tinkler

    It makes no sense on Shetland, so far from where the energy is needed, Haydn. How about above Abergavenny on the Welsh Black Mountains and on the Brecon Beacons. In your own backyard Haydn!!!. A few Hydro plants on the river Usk would serve well!!!. Much closer and cheaper than Shetland, no interconnector under the sea and just a few power liner and straight online to Birmingham and the West Mids.

  6. peter hamilton

    Viking’s proposed wind turbines are not carbon neutral. Peat releases carbon once disturbed. The foundations will also release CO2 for years. The Viking raid on Shetland’s Charitable Trust is not about the environment.

    Many of Viking’s proposed subsidy-farming turbines would be located on The Busta Estate which is S.I.C. land, to which ground rent would flow. Because this would swell council reserves Viking is quietly supported and a blind eye is turned to the distrusted trust.

    Peat disruption and proximity to people’s homes aside, there wouldn’t be such a problem with this had the people of Shetland ever been given a say over that proposed use of their money and landscape, but there is no consent. Meanwhile the queues at the food bank lengthen and Disability Shetland struggle on.


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