Funding for new high school set to be agreed

The funding of the new £49 million Anderson High School looks set to be settled finally this week if Shetland Charitable Trust agrees to buy the building from Shetland Islands Council once it is completed and lease it back.

The arrangement is being recommended to trustees by trust managers and would see the council paying £3.19m a year in lease payments to the trust’s property company Slap from 2013 at an interest rate of five percent above inflation.

Over the course of 30 years the council would pay back a total of £95.7m before resuming ownership of the school. During those three decades the council would also have to foot the bill for repairs, running costs, insurance and other charges.

Trust managers have already written to SIC head of finance Graham Johnston telling him they like the deal because it is “commercial, fair and attractive”.

However, they warned that it would take the trust to its funding limits with the consequence that the council should not come looking for any further such deals. The trust will debate the matter in Lerwick Town Hall on Thursday.


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