Sport and culture trust recommended

Councillor Vicky Davidson
Councillor Vicky Davidson

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is being asked to agree to the establishment of an integrated culture and sport trust.

That would be achieved by cultural services, including museums, libraries and arts development, being transferred to sit alongside the existing sport and leisure services managed by Borders Sport and Leisure Trust (BSLT).

Councillors will consider a report on the matter on Wednesday, October 7.

Councillor Vicky Davidson, SBC’s Executive Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Communities, said: “A significant amount of work has taken place in partnership with BSLT to look at the feasibility of an integrated trust, including learning from similar combined trusts around the country.

“Our cultural services staff are highly regarded in their various fields of expertise and do an excellent job at present. I’m therefore very confident that they will continue to innovate, modernise services and generate significant external funding under any new management arrangements.

“A combined trust would free up resources and provide new synergies and focus on the wide range of cultural services which we know are hugely important to the Borders public.”

If the report’s recommendations are agreed, the aim will be to have the integrated trust operational from April 1, 2016.

Peter Duncan, Chairman of the BSLT board of trustees, said: “At BSLT, we see potential for combining our existing sport and leisure responsibilities with cultural services to deliver improved services across the Scottish Borders.

“A lot of work will be required to ensure that a combined trust is in a sustainable position to deliver, however we have very high expectations for delivering an enhanced cultural services offering that excites and involves local people and that builds upon 12 years of hard work to increase participation in sport and physical activity.”