Edition number 3; dateline 21 September 2007

Challenging the culture
With the programme for the 2007 Scottish Sports Development Conference just about ready to roll off the presses, we are able to bring you exclusive news of the highlights therein. The dates and venue we know – 20 and 21 November at the Crieff Hydro Hotel – but the theme, workshops and speakers have to date been a closely guarded secret. Under the conference title of Challenging the Culture, daily two-hour workshop sessions will be focus of the agenda and this year topics include: the changing face of volunteering; working effectively with the media; business planning in sports development; the coaching profession – a conflict of agendas?; the changing culture of clubs; and engaging the non-engaged – partnerships and people. As we went to press the conference green room was looking forward to hosting: Stewart Harris, chief executive of Sport Scotland; Stewart Maxwell MSP, minister for community and sports; Dr Pat Duffy, group chief executive of Sports Coach UK; Novlette Rennie, chief executive of Sporting Equals; Derek Casey, bid director for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; and Chris Moon, athlete, officer and author of One Step Beyond. The conference organising group are keen to point out that, thanks to the support of Sport Scotland, delegate fees have been kept at 2006 prices, making, they hope, the event both valuable and affordable. Prices for the two-day conference package start at £210 plus VAT. The complete conference programme and full booking details will be published by The Leisure Review as soon as they are available but in the meantime you can register your interest, book your place or just generally make a nuisance of yourself by e-mailing the conference team at conference@firstcityevents.co.uk
STOP PRESS: The complete programme and booking form is now available in pdf format. Click here to download it

Suburban Futures: let’s have some
Four Greens, a network supporting the arts and the creative industries in boroughs across North London, is hosting SUBURBAN FUTURES: Town Centres, the Arts and Regeneration on Friday 28 September. Speakers include: Jordi Pascual from the Institute for Culture, Barcelona City Council; Thierry Baert from the Agence de developpement et d'urbanisme de Lille Metropole; Joost Beunderman of Urhahn Urban Design, Amsterdam/London; Robin Buckle, urban renaissance manager at Design for London; and, of course, our own Vanessa Bone from Creative Cultures, who will discussing the business case for using the arts in town centres and business improvement districts. The event is being held at the Arts Depot in North Finchley and further details are available by e-mailing Peter Sinclair at peter@fourgreens.org

Tourism quality and value: let’s try some
Noticing that the Beijing Olympics is less than a year away, the government’s own leisure department, the DCMS, is swinging into action. Their latest offering is a document titled Winning: A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond, launched by Margaret Hodge, the minister who includes the tourism role in her job title. The document, compiled with the assistance of Visit Britain and Visit London, is a guide to how the UK tourism industry, worth some £85 billion a year to the UK economy, can get its act together as we move towards 2012. “From the London Eye to the Lake District, we have some of the finest tourist attractions in the world,” the minister said, no doubt holding a copy of the document close to her heart. “We’ve got a good image as a tourist destination but I want that image to be excellent.” Cost, quality and service (“We’re not always good at welcoming people,” Ms Hodge noted) are identified as the usual suspects; getting more accommodation signed up the star rating system and developing a skilled workforce are key targets. A recent Oxford Economics tourism impact study has served to focus the minds of hotel managers whatever their understanding of quality and value with its prediction that the 2012 Games will bring a £2.1 billion tourism spend.

Pushing the boundary: culture and the environment
CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, are bringing their annual conference to London for the first time in October. Hosted by the Brit Oval and featuring the leading environmental sector figures from around the world, the conference will also have a strong cultural theme. The launch of Arts and the Environment, which connects the arts community with environmental professionals to explore and promote the relationship between the arts, sciences, technology, business and the environment, will be a highlight of the event. This will also be CIWEM’s presidential theme for 2007-2008. A full report of the executive director’s personal cultural programme will be published in a future issue of TLR. For further details visit www.ciwem.org

Tate shows huge interest in art
Between April 2006 and April 2007 more than seven and half million people visited one of the Tate’s four galleries. Tate Modern, housed in the former Bankside power station across the Thames from St Paul’s, received 5.2m visitors, making it the second most visited attraction after Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Speaking after the release of the Tate’s annual report which contained what are widely regarded as extraordinary visitor numbers, Tate director Nicholas Serota welcomed the role of Tate Modern in generating interest in art on such a scale. “It is partly because of the excitement of the building itself and partly its position in London by the Millennium Bridge, and clearly there is a huge interest in new developments in art all round the world. What’s remarkable is that we’ve also had a steady increase in visitors at Tate Britain.” A new extension to Tate Modern is currently being designed by Herzog and De Meuron, the architects who transformed Bankside from industrial power station to artistic power house.

Following Bill Sweetenham’s rush for the airport, Michael Scott has been appointed as high performance consultant by British Swimming. Michael is also Australian, thus minimising any linguistic or cultural confusion during handover. Staying in and around the pool, the Swimming Teachers’ Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and to mark they occasion they have appointed Melissa Phillips as business development manager. Melissa has over twenty years of experience in the sport and leisure industry.


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Tate Modern
5.2m people visited Tate Modern between April 2006 and April 2007, taking the total number of visitors to the Tate's four galleries to 7.7m. Among tourist attractions, only Blackpool Pleasure Beach had more visitors

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