Edition number 5; dateline 26 October 2007

Sign up, join in, work out: the Scottish Sports Development Conference
We are confidently assured that “there will be no rest for the wicked” at the Scottish Sports Development Conference, to be held at the Crieff Hydro, 20-21 November. With a two-day programme packed with topical speakers, CPD sessions and ample opportunities to network, we are equally confident that this is no idle boast. Sharing the platform on day one are: Stewart Maxwell MSP, minister for communities and sport; Stewart Harris, chief executive of SportScotland; Dr Pat Duffy, group chief executive of Sports Coach UK; and Novlette Rennie OBE, chief executive of Sporting Equals. The Q&A session will no doubt be lively and will offer an unprecedented opportunity to question the people at the top. Day two brings Derek Casey, bid director of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, talking about the implications of the bid for everyone involved in developing sport in Scotland, and Stewart Harris to discuss the implications of the legacy of the games. Tough days at the office will be put firmly into perspective by Chris Moon who has climbed mountains and run marathons (including the Great Sahara Run), all after he lost an arm and leg in a landmine incident.
Challenging the Culture, Scottish Sports Development Conference, Crieff Hydro Hotel, Perthshire, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st November 2007. As the ‘official media partner’ for the conference, The Leisure Review is delighted to offer full programme details in pdf format right here.

DCMS claims arts and elbow distinction
Culture secretary James Purnell nipped over to the Battersea Arts Centre to present news of the Treasury’s largesse within the comprehensive spending review. Arts Council England funding will increase to an additional £50m a year by 2011, rising this year from £417m to £467m in 2010/11. This, Mr Purnell pointed out, equates to a real-terms increase year-on-year of 1.1% or 12% in cash terms across the whole period. Grant aid to England's national museums and galleries will increase from £302m this year to £332m in 2010/11, which represents a rise slightly above inflation. Mr Purnell commented, “Our arts and culture matter. They are a key part of the life and identity of our country, and that's why the government has invested heavily in them since 1997. This country can hold its own on the international stage, producing brilliant, world-class and groundbreaking work. This year's settlement will help ensure our arts sector – one of the nation's greatest success stories – can go on to achieve even more.” Additional announcements included a grant rise for English Heritage, from the current £123.7 million to £130.7 million at the end of the three-year spending review period.

Rotherham look to £35m leisure future with 32-year PFI contract
Work was officially started this month on what is claimed as the UK’s largest leisure PFI contract, the £35m Rotherham leisure project. Representatives from Rotherham MBC, DC Leisure and their consortium team (including Barclays Bank, Willmott Dixon, Cyril Sweett Ltd, Nabarro and Hooper Architects) celebrated the breaking of ground on the scheme for the design, build, finance and operation of four leisure facilities in Rotherham. The project will involve the construction of St Ann’s Central Rotherham Swimming and Fitness Centre, as well as providing two additional dual-use leisure facilities at Wath and Aston, both situated on or adjacent to secondary school campuses. There will also be development of Maltby, which will include the council’s joint service centre and a new leisure complex. St Ann’s will include a 25m, six-lane swimming pool with a moveable floor; 12m leisure/teaching pool with flume; six-court sports hall; squash courts; fitness and health suites; and climbing wall. The facilities at Aston and Wath will both include a main pool and learner pool, fitness suite and sports hall. The Maltby site will comprise a 25m, six-lane pool with a moveable floor, diving pool, sports hall and a fitness suite. This site will also incorporate Maltby joint service centre. It is anticipated that, upon completion, these leisure facilities will accommodate one million visits per year. Funding for the project has come from Barclays, DC Leisure, the DCMS and the Department for Communities and Local Government through two linked PFI schemes. Rotherham was allocated £25m of PFI credits for redevelopment and regeneration, and additional funding has come from the New Opportunities Fund, Rotherham primary care trust and from the council's existing budgets. It is anticipated that the majority of building work will be completed by the end of 2008 and the contract will run for 32 years from that point.

The editor’s choice: a belated addition
Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the editor’s selection of the most enterprising, invigorating and energetic exhibitors at this year’s LIW exhibition (see the last edition of News in Brief), all in lieu of the innovation award, has been expanded slightly. Vertical Leisure has been added to the list following what the managing editor is calling a communication cock-up on the editor’s part and the editor is calling “surely someone else’s fault”. The good people at Vertical Leisure are involved with the drive to bring the concept of the pole to the fitness arena and are therefore to be included as part of the managing editor’s understanding of this development as “an impressive bit of lateral thinking”. We salute them all.

Stand Up for Journalism, 5 November
At the risk of sounding portentous and in the light of huge cuts to the BBC, still the most widely respected journalistic organisation in the world, we invite our readers to take a moment to ask themselves the following question: who is asking the questions? Next time you read a newspaper, hear a news broadcast, pick up a free sheet or browse a trade magazine, ask yourself: who is writing this; who is paying them to do it; why are they writing it; and who stands to profit? The National Union of Journalists’ campaign, Stand Up for Journalism, will take place on 5 November. With plans afoot to keep BBC3 going at the expense of staff numbers on the BBC news team, it might be worth paying attention. http://www.standupforjournalism.org.uk/index.html

After six years with Sport England in various roles, Scott Hartley has now “left the building”. He takes with him the good wishes of his colleagues and Karen Allen, who was heading up the Running Sport project. Karen has now married the boy and rather than squeeze in a fortnight's honeymoon in Tenerife, sport development's answer to Kenny and Gabby are travelling around SE Asia and South America for seven months. The Energie Group has appointed Giles Webber to the post of managing director of the England and Wales region. Giles previously held the post of commercial director within the company. Darran Morford also joins as managing director of the Energie personal fitness franchise division 


News in brief
Staccato reports from the cultural typeface

last edition


other news


Hastings Borough Council has appointed Capita Symonds and S&P Architects to prepare a feasibility study into new leisure facilities and commercial development in the White Rock part of the town. Stage one will be financial and physical feasibility of such a development with a second stage of the project involving a master plan for longer-term development. The council’s brief emphasises aspirations for leisure to be at the centre of wider regeneration, attracting inward investment, retaining and developing the student population and further establishing Hastings as a leisure destination. Capita Symonds’ project director Renata Drinkwater said: “Our joint team will focus on the delivery of realistic and tangible solutions to help achieve the town’s long-term objectives."
Scottish Sports Development Conference 2007
Challenging the Culture
The 2007 Scottish Sports Development Conference
Crieff Hydro Hotel
20-21 November

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