Emergency funding ‘very good news’, says Trust chief

The chief executive of Shetland Amenity Trust has greeted the announcement of £97m funding for the Scottish arts, culture and heritage sectors.

“It’s very good news,” said Mat Roberts.

A £1.57bn emergency support package was announced by the UK government on Sunday, with £97m of this going to Scotland.

Mr Roberts added: “We are waiting to see how it will be made available.”

The trust runs Shetland Museum and Archives, the Crofthouse Museum, Old Scatness and Sumburgh Head.

The museum was closed to the public in March while the seasonal opening of other sights has been put on hold following the coronavirus pandemic.

Questions remain over how to access the funding and any strings attached, but Mr Roberts said he imagines the process will be “very competitive”.

Museums, galleries, performing arts and theatres, independent cinema, heritage and live music are eligible for grants and loans.

Shetland Arts chief executive Graeme Howell said they were waiting for details of the schemes to be released before commenting.

Mr Roberts also highlighted a £10m fund announced by the Scottish government on Friday, which will be run by Creative Scotland.

The recent UK and Scottish government funding had been the result of “a lot of creative lobbying” by the arts, culture and heritage community, he said.

Mr Roberts said they had been contacting MPs, MSPs and “anyone who will listen” to try and secure funding.


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