Culture & Business Scotland event drives positive change


Culture and business organisations were given key insights into how they can drive positive changeand create effective voices at an event organised by Culture & Business Scotland yesterday (Wednesday February 28). 

More than 45 organisations from across Scotland attended the members forum event at Glasgow’s City Halls, which aimed to strengthen the bonds between these two vital areas of Scottish society. 

Gillian Martin, Minister for Energy, Just Transition and Fair Work, Scottish Government,gave a video introduction and emphasised the key role that Scotland’s culture and creative sectors play, as well as the importance of fair play, in moving towards a wellbeing economy. 

Focusing on the theme of creating impactful collaborations, the Forum featured presentations from notable projects and partnerships demonstrating community engagement and inclusivity in practice. Following the success of the inaugural forum, this event further explored the potential of these collaborations to inspire and enact positive change. 

David Watt, Chief Executive of Culture & Business Scotland, said: “Many of the organisations who attended our Forum yesterday receive funding from either Creative Scotland or Historic Environment Scotland. A key requirementof ongoing investment from these, and indeed other funders, is for organisations to develop and implement robust Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Fair Work policies and plans. Our forum provided attendees with inspiration and information on best practice in those areas.” 

Keynote speakers throughout the day included Stella Litchfield, Director of Development,National Theatre of Scotland and Lesley Gilmartin, Director, LHH Recruitment Solutions(formerly Badenoch + Clark). ‘Orphans’ was a major new National Theatre of Scotland musical received to great acclaim by audiences and critics alike which marked a return in 2022 to large scale Scottish touring post the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Like NTS, Badenoch + Clark (now LHH Recruitment Solutions) is a Scottish success storywith a reputation for excellence both at home and around the world. Both organisations are people-focused and hold values of creativity, agility, and clarity. Stella and Lesley provided an insight into the partnership between culture and business which brought this show to audiences across Scotland.  

Jennifer Novotny, Diverse Heritage Strategy & Development Officer, Scottish Civic Trust gave insights into the ‘Diverse Heritage’ project, which aims to make Scottish heritage more inclusive and combat historical and current discrimination by celebrating the diverse cultures, traditions, and customs of our communities past and present. Jennifer also spoke about SCT’s work to support marginalised and excluded members of our communities to engage with the heritage of their choice on their own terms through partnership working, co-design and co-delivery.  

Thania M. Flores, Heritage Environment Resources Officer, The Trimontium Trust & Museum focused on ‘The Digital Romans’, a project generously funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is centred on the creation of digital resources, accessibility, and inclusion andThania covered insights into the project including fostering and strengthening partnerships and collaboration with UPMO, National Museums Scotland, Live Borders, and Historic Environment Scotland, and their approach to Fair Work with their volunteers. 

Robert Softley Gale, Artistic Director, and Anna Richardson, Training Co-ordinator at Scotland’s first disability-led theatre company, Birds of Paradise, also gave insights into the challenges continuing to face disabled people and discussed how their work is helping to address barriers to inclusion.  

The Culture & Business Scotland Members’ Forum supports Culture & Business Scotland’s commitment to creating a space for collaboration and partnership opportunities. The Forum allowed for in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing, with a panel discussion and Q&A session, challenging thinking and fostering collaboration. The day concluded with peer-to-peer networking opportunities, allowing attendees to make new cross-sector connections. 

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