Organisations funded by Shetland Charitable Trust can look forward to financial stability for at least the next three years – a stark contrast to the swingeing cuts about to hit services provided by Shetland Islands Council.
Trustees will meet on Tuesday to approve a budget of £10.9 million in 2012/13, which is in line with the trust’s policy of avoiding eating into reserves by spending no more than £11 million year.
The trust is entering the first year of a three-year budget plan which should protect all the services and the hundreds of jobs that it funds until 2015.
Most of its spending goes on the running costs of Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts along with £2.5 million towards the cost of running the rural care centres.
The Christmas bonus scheme costs the trust £500,000 a year and it pays the £2.2 million-a-year cost of maintaining many buildings, including leisure centres.
Until 2015 just under £1 million a year will go to independent community and voluntary organisations, including Shetland Youth Information Service (£188,840), COPE Ltd (£154,967) and Voluntary Action Shetland (£144,367).
The Citizens Advice Bureau will receive £147,383 next year, falling to £132,265 when temporary funding for a second welfare rights worker comes to an end in 2013/14.
At Tuesday’s meeting, trustees will be asked to agree a one-off payment of £36,180 for Shetland Arts to help it balance its budget after incurring unforeseen running costs for the Garrison Theatre when it took over management from the council. The so-called “spend to save” payment to Shetland Arts is expected to also help the arts agency reduce its staffing costs by £72,000 a year through reorganisation.
Trustees will also have to decide on a transitional payment of £64,842 to help Shetland Recreational Trust change its leisure centre opening hours to better suit the needs of the SIC.
Despite the cap on spending, the trust has found the cash to pay £200,000 to repair the rotting roof of Scalloway swimming pool.
The trust’s own administration costs are being kept at £540,000 a year for three years, which is five per cent of overall spending.
Trust chairman Bill Manson said on Friday he was “very pleased” to be able to present the budget for approval despite the difficult economic climate.