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Two Sporta member trusts have been announced as recipients of National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) by the Arts Council England (ACE), and will receive funding to deliver arts and cultural initiatives over the period 2018-22.

Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, based in East Lincolnshire, secured another round of funding for their annual ‘SO’ Festival. Delivered jointly with East Lindsey District Council and others, the festival brings high quality art and entertainment to residents and visitors in areas of low cultural engagement across the region.

Additionally, Mytime Active’s ‘Arts Train’ initiative was funded as an NPO for the first time. ‘Arts Train’, a music education project with young people at its core, was developed by the trust to bring creative music making opportunities in the southeast and outer London to young people who might otherwise experience the arts. The project has made a genuine impact on young people’s lives and has transformed the cultural landscape of music within South East London.

Considered leaders in their areas, NPOs are entrusted with a collective responsibility to protect and develop the national arts and cultural ecology. The inclusion of NPDO social enterprises in this funding displays the diversity and high quality of the services Sporta member trusts continue to provide, and the importance of the role they play in engaging people in the most need through cultural projects alongside sport and leisure.

Sporta enjoyed a successful AGM on May 17th in Sheffield, where discussions were held with senior representatives from sector organisations across the UK. Notable guests included Andy Reed OBE, Rt Hon Richard Caborn and Angela Hardman. During the event, Stuart Lockwood from Oldham Community Leisure was elected to replace Peter Gunn as Sporta Chair.  Presentations from the AGM are available to view here (please login first to view this page)

A unique new archive, funded and owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), opened on the 14th February and brings together historical nuclear records from all over the UK together with the local, Highland Council Caithness Archives. The brand new facility located in the Caithness town of Wick is known as ‘Nucleus’ and is the result of a partnership between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Restore and High Life Highland (HLH). Located near Dounreay, one the UK’s earliest nuclear research sites, Nucleus will have a dual role: as well as housing nuclear records, the facility will contain a collection of local Caithness records. Ian Murray, Chief Executive of High Life Highland said, “There has been a huge amount of investment in Caithness with Nucleus being one of three major developments opening within months of each other. The expanded and refurbished leisure centre in Thurso opened in January and a brand new school and community facility also in Wick is due to open next month. Nucleus will be open to the public during normal office hours and documents can be accessed and examined in the public search rooms. “I am sure the members of the public who use the new facilities at Nucleus will be blown away by the new archive facilities which are now available to the communities throughout the Highlands". Nucleus will employ a staff of approximately 20 with HLH operating the front of house for the whole site.

Hosted by BBC Sports presenter Andrew Cotter, the 2017 Sporta Awards were held on 17th May at Sheffield City Hall where the achievements of Sporta Trusts were celebrated. At the ceremony sport, leisure and culture trusts from across the UK came together to celebrate a year in which trusts have become more central to the health and wellbeing of communities across the country. For full details of the event, including a list of winners, please click here

Sporta Member Jubilee Hall Trust has announced that they have been awarded a new contract to manage the Westminster Gym in the Houses of Parliament. Jubilee Hall Trust have been delivering the existing gym and wellbeing service contract since 1999. In that time, Jubilee Hall Trust has grown gym membership, increased the range and quality of services and received excellent feedback. In the last user survey, 100% of gym members said that the staff service was good or excellent. Jubilee Hall Chief Executive, Phil Rumbelow said: "We are very pleased that the Parliamentary Authority has seen fit to offer us a renewal of our contract. We are a small operator in a highly competitive central London market, and we know that they had many other organisations bidding for this prestigious opportunity. We have always believed passionately in the important need for the two Houses’ Members, Peers and employees to have a facility for physical activity and a service for wellbeing, and our exceptional staff team have been delivering this to a very high standard for some time." 

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