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5.3 The importance of multi-use assets

On the digital cultural asset map venues often had multiple categories present on the same geographical location, and the cognitive mapping highlighted that participants has an attachment to assets for differing reasons. This was particularly relevant in the case of places of worship where church halls were used for their intended primary purpose as well as hire for exercise classes, community events and support groups. Schools and places of education also displayed similar trends, acting as hubs for social events and cultural activities, as well as places of education. The college and university have a plethora of clubs and societies, and offer social events, sporting activities, debating associations and showcases as well as sub venues such as a student union which host guest shows. The cultural asset mapping events and festivals category also demonstrated the complex nature of the event infrastructure where pubs, cafes and pop-up venues all organise special or one-off events. These trends are not unique to the settlement which was the focus of the research, events literature points towards many areas now embracing festivals of various scales within a cultural context (referred to as the umbrella term of “urban festivity” in Toronto (Mathews, 2014, p.1028), or branded to form an umbrella of events such as “Winter Festival” in Glasgow (Foley and Mcpherson, 2007, p.143) but they can also be themed events such as art crawls where those of a shared interest come together to showcase a particular type of community asset for a period of time (Shaw, 2015)).

Within the current policy context it is interesting to note a practical application of this issue; the review of the Scottish planning system is pointing towards a more holistic integration of

community planning and town planning (Scottish Government, 2017b); such systems have historically operated independently yet clearly have common issues such as addressing poverty and environmental issues. Culture is a cross policy issue and members of Community Planning Partnership boards include the NHS, Police and Education departments, who all have management responsibility for cultural assets (including places of healthcare, listed buildings, schools etc) therefore this is welcome news from a cultural asset identification standpoint, and something which has been noted in studies as an emerging trend as organisations are “challenged to get out of their traditional silos to investigate the links between cultural activity and community development” (Nicodemus, 2013, p.213).

This is particularly relevant when one considers current ambitions in a Scottish context that by 2024 “artists and creative people will influence daily life and as a consequence be regarded as invaluable sources of advice and inspiration for policy makers at both local and national levels – operating in spheres such as health, economic growth and education as well as within the cultural domain” (Creative Scotland, 2014, p.7). Venues which can offer this multi-use purpose will therefore become of increasing importance and value, especially where they are accessible and welcoming (Delrieu and Gibson, 2017a), and operate with sustainable funding from multiple sources (Stevenson, 2013).