A charity grant scheme which was suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis is reopening today (Friday), offering organisations the chance to bid for a share of £881,000.
Shetland Charitable Trust’s scheme aims to tackle inequality and social exclusion.
The trust had faced criticism over the previous suspension of the grant, which Ability Shetland said had left it “shocked and dismayed”.
The suspension was announced on 24th March, the day after the national lockdown was announced, due to the “unprecedented changes” imposed to tackle the pandemic.
Trust chairman Andrew Cooper said he felt there was “no other realistic option” other than to pause the process.
Although he said it was an “encouraging sign” that the trust had been able to reinstate the scheme, he had it was “regrettable” that the Covid-19 restrictions meant some of the activities would still not be able to take place.
“The trust looks forward to receiving updated bids and making sure this money is spent where it’s needed this year,” he added.
Dr Cooper also said it was “unfortunate” that some people took the suspension of the grant to mean the trust was withholding vital funding to charitable organisations.
“That was never the case and, despite the disruption and loss of services due to Covid-19, these organisations received £3.7 million in support grants from the trust, as planned, from 1st April,” he added.
Applications can be made for the grant up until 29th May.
The trust will also open its main grant scheme for applications for 2012/22 and beyond in July.