Pledging our commitment to culture and sport for all
The City of Edinburgh Council is encouraging Edinburgh organisations to attend a special event aimed at greatly improving residents' access to sport and culture.
An invitation has been extended to all sporting and cultural organisations to the ACCESS to SPORT and Culture: Edinbubrgh Partnership in Conference event being held at the Playfair Library in the University of Edinburgh's Old College, on Wednesday 17 March 2010.
This event aims to see as many groups and associations as possible sign up to the 'Pledge' - a lasting shared commitment designed to address existing barriers hindering people from participating in sport and culture.
The Pledge was the outcome of a pioneering Pathfinder project funded by Scottish Government carried out in Edinburgh called ASC Edinburgh [Access to Sport and Culture). The main aim of the project, which canvassed the views of more than 19,000 individuals, organisations and partnerships, was to find out how city residents felt they could get more involved in sporting and cultural activities.
It is for any organisation that provides arts or sports services in Edinburgh, including public, voluntary and commercial organisations, partnerships, agencies, companies, clubs and groups.
Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor, said: "The Pledge is an excellent way of demonstrating our shared commitment to making sport and culture as accessible as possible for all Edinburgh residents. We've already had very positive feedback with a number of organisations signing up and I look forward to seeing even more coming on board in the coming weeks."
The Council has already been joined by the Edinburgh Partnership, Edinburgh Leisure, ClubSportEdinburgh, Scottish Screen and a range of other organisations in signing up to the Pledge.
Councillor Jenny Dawe, Chair of the Edinburgh Partnership, said: "I am delighted that the Edinburgh Partnership, by being first to sign the Pledge, is making a firm and lasting commitment to break down barriers which can limit access to sporting and cultural activity."
Donald Smith, Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, said: "The Pledge is a way of pulling together lots of existing opportunities - and improving them. It's about making Edinburgh a creative place for everyone."
Another organisation to have signed up is Lung Ha's Theatre Company. Michael Fraser, Company Manager, said: "Signing up to The Pledge enables organisations such as Lung Ha's Theatre Company to affirm its commitment to the people of the city of Edinburgh and reminds us that, as part of the wider arts community, we all have a key role to play in ensuring Edinburgh shares its cultural heritage with all of its citizens."
As part of the Council's response to the draft Culture (Scotland) Bill in 2007, a bid was made to Scottish Government to progress a Pathfinder Project for Cultural and Sporting Entitlements in the city. Edinburgh was one of only 13 successful applicants for such Pathfinder status and was subsequently awarded funding to progress the 12-month ASC Edinburgh consultation project.
The Pledge states: 'We pledge to improve the quality of life and chances for all people in Edinburgh through increased access to cultural and sporting activities, by:
Developing and promoting joint working
Improving access to facilities
Improving the quality and dissemination of information
Creating sustainable provision
Responding to users' views and needs'