Swan Trust receives a range of support to replace sails

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16 November 2020

Last year the Swan Trust identified an urgent need to replace three of Swan’s five sails – the Jib, Staysail and Mainsail. With all of these sails in use for many years, time and UV exposure had taken its toll, and they were getting to the end of their usable life. Replacing these sails however was not cheap, with a combined net cost of £18,290, and so The Trust had to source funding. To date they have raised £14,780 to replace the Jib and Mainsail. They have also secured partial funding for the Staysail, and are looking to fund the balance

The money raised so far has come from a mix of grants and sponsorship. Historic Environment Scotland allocated a grant of £5,000 for the Mainsail from its Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund. The Scottish Fishermen’s Trust allocated a grant of £4,750 towards 26% of the total cost of all three sails. The Shetland Fishing Fleet also contributed - 22 Shetland whitefish and pelagic fishing boats provided much needed sponsorship to the Swan Trust in 2019, with £4,650 of this designated towards the purchase of the new Mainsail. Grieg Seafood provided sponsorship of £500 to the new Jib and a People's Postcode Lottery Magic Little Grant contributed a further £500 to the Jib.

David Goodlad, Chair of The Swan Trust, commented: “We are incredibly grateful for this support, which will enable us to replace these sails and continue to provide life changing sail training experiences for many years to come. With Swan’s fishing heritage, the support from the fishing and seafood sector is particularly humbling, and shows both the importance of the work of our volunteers and the Swan as a living heritage asset for Shetland. While we do offer some commercial trips to help raise funds, we rely on donations, sponsorship and other funding to help us cover annual costs and maintenance. We would like to thank everyone for their support and belief in the objectives of the Trust.”

A Magic Little Grant was awarded through Localgiving and Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The Coasts & Waters Heritage Fund was made available through Historic Environment Scotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

As well as safeguarding and promoting our maritime heritage, the sailing and volunteering opportunities provided by The Swan Trust have been proven to increase confidence, contribute to health and wellbeing and build friendships and community links. The Swan also attracts attention and acts as an ambassador for Shetland, sail training and our maritime past where ever she goes.

The Trust is still in need of a futher £2,500 to fund the balance of the Staysail. Anyone can make a donation to the Trust through its Localgiving webpage. Every penny you donate will be gratefully received and used to buy items to maintain Swan and/or offer sail training and volunteering experiences.


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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