Dear Editor,

In response to your editorial piece in today’s paper. Our board of trustees are tasked with becoming less reliant on our local and national funding bodies. We already attract substantial funding into Shetland to deliver arts events and educational programmes. We need to get better at this and look at ways of making even more money to take pressure off our local Shetland Charitable Trust funding in the future.

We are very comfortable with our decision to nominate our director onto this programme. In fact it is quite a feather in our cap that an arts organisation has been selected to send a representative on this international event. On Gwilym’s return our board will be discussing what he has learned and how we can set up a similar business model here . Shetland Arts is held in high regard in Scotland, and further afield, for our forward looking business plan that supports the fantastic work of our officers.

Having a dig at our Director going all the way to Australia at someone else’s expense makes a good story. I hope that you get the chance to address the balance by following it up in the future when our finances are even healthier because of this trip.

Jim Johnston Chair of Shetland Arts

(P.S. – Discussing personal salary details in the media is always tacky journalism I believe. For your information Gwilym is on full pay as he is still working! He is keeping in touch with me and his officials when he is away. It’s amazing what you can do with modern communication technology isn’t it?)