A major networking event aimed at promoting sporting and cultural opportunities in the Capital is being held on Wednesday.

Representatives from Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and BBC Screen will mingle with around 100 delegates from a wide variety of organisations for the second annual Access to Sport and Culture (ASC) Edinburgh conference, which is being held at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls.

Initiated and driven by the City of Edinburgh Council, ASC Edinburgh seeks to foster fruitful partnerships between organisations of all sizes, with the overarching aim of making culture and sport as accessible as possible to everyone in the city.

The event will also be attended by Council Leader Jenny Dawe, who chairs the Edinburgh Partnership. The Edinburgh Partnership helped fund the initial consultation which lead to the ASC Edinburgh initiative.

Those attending Wednesday’s conference are invited to pitch their ideas or events to their fellow delegates in an ‘ideas marketplace’, as well as receiving useful information and guidance on funding streams from major bodies.

Last year’s inaugural event produced many positive results,  such as:  landmark theatres creating new programmes to engage more effectively with local charities; NVA, an environmental arts organisation, finding new partners to develop their project, “Speed of Light”, a spectacular outdoor performance engaging with community groups, athletes and the general public to be staged on Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh in 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convener, said: “The Council and our partners are committed to making access to sport and culture as easy as possible for people across Edinburgh and the ASC Edinburgh event is fast becoming an unmissable date. There was a huge buzz in the room last year as organisations swapped ideas and brainstormed ways of helping each other, and I’m really looking forward to Wednesday’s event and to seeing the many inspiring outcomes it’s certain to generate. With finances really stretched for organisations just now in both the public and private sectors, ASC Edinburgh perfectly demonstrates our Council leading by example by promoting creative thinking and innovative strategies.”

David Condie, Scotland Taekwon-Do Coach, attended the 2010 ASC Edinburgh event. He said: “I was eager to participate as I was holding an International Event in Edinburgh later in the same year. It enabled me to pitch my event to all areas and experience of different art backrounds and receive valuable feedback in enabling me to host my event.  A whole new network has opened up to me across a vast spectrum of areas, from assistance from EventScotland to having my sports memorabilia displayed in an Edinburgh museum.  It was a very worthwhile experience and I would recommend you check it out, no matter how big or small your group is.”
At the event, Creative Scotland will update delegates on major upcoming events, including Year of Creative Scotland 2012, London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, while EventScotland will provide information on funding streams and updates on other major events such as the Ryder Cup, which will be held at Gleneagles in 2014.