Swan Trust still grappling with cuts as 2017 programme revealed

Uncertainty is hanging over the long-term future of the Swan following the reduction in grant funding from Shetland Charitable Trust.

A warning has been made by the secretary of The Swan Trust behind the classic herring boat which operates as a sail training vessel.

Peter Campbell has spoken as details of the Swan’s programme of events for the year ahead have been outlined.

Peter Campbell says funding cuts mean there is uncertainty about the Swan’s future.

“We’re trying to hopefully put together something which will attract people, which will help counter the reduction in charitable trust grant,” he said.

“We know this coming year is okay. We think we’ll manage, with great care, but beyond that, it’s uncertain.”

The Swan Trust was one of a number of bodies which were left to find ways of plugging significant funding gaps following moves by the charitable trust to significantly tighten its belt.

Plans emerged in 2015 to completely phase out support for the Swan Trust within five years.

Other bodies – the folk festival, the accordion and fiddle festival and Shetland Churches Council Trust – learned their funding would be given the chop, too.

It came as the charitable trust sought ways of cutting revenue grant funding to the local arts development agency, as well as the amenity and recreational trusts, by 17.5 per cent by 2020.

Charitable trust chairman Bobby Hunter said at the time that the changes were being made to secure the long-term future of the trust’s funds.

The Swan Trust found themselves with another headache last year after a crack developed in the historic fishing vessel’s mizzen mast.

Despite the difficulties, the Swan Trust has managed to put together a sail programme for 2017. Key among attractions for this year is an 11-night voyage from Orkney to Norway,
as well as “Shetland Outliers” to Fair Isle, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries.

Mr Campbell said a couple of Sail Training charters were also being planned, including a voyage around Norway, Sweden and Denmark, to take part in a Nordic regatta for historic vessels.

• For more details of the Swan’s schedule for 2017 see the advert in this week’s newspaper.


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