African and Caribbean Network Glasgow is seeking to raise funds that will be used to prepare the centre in readiness for its application for a permanent event licence. This will also include installation of hot water and heating systems at the centre. Further to the recent renovations done to our centre in preparations to the commonwealth games, the event licence will enable our centre to showcase many more cultural events and celebrations of art, culture and diversity that will greatly benefit our community.
About the project
The African and Caribbean Network Ltd (A&CN) (www.acnglasgow.org) is a voluntary sector membership organization that came into being as various key people from the target communities realised that the myriad of small African and Caribbean groups represented in Glasgow struggled to have meaningful dialogue with statutory bodies/government etc because there was not one unifying voice expressing the common views of all those groups. The ACN was launched to address that gap and play a co-ordinating role to bring these various groups together and explore ways of making the most of consultation, funding and capacity building opportunities. Since our formation in July 2005 we have developed meaningful contact with up to 40 community groups, increased the membership to the Network and developed a feasibility study to support the establishment of an African and Caribbean Centre (ACC) in the heart of Glasgow.
The ambition for this centre was that it becomes a focus of cultural significance – both for our community groups and for Glasgow. The centre has supported capacity building, small business, music and cultural programmes since it opened 10 years ago as well as having transformed a derelict milk depot into a thriving and vibrant premises in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City. The importance of this location is not lost on the management board as the strong links between Glasgow and the Commonwealth community are a focus of many of the activities developed at the Centre to celebrate, teach and remember.
The business case for developing the ACN and the (ACC) is strong:
- Since the 2001 Scottish Census the population of African residents has seen the largest increase of any ethnic group in Scotland as a result of various initiatives and policies – Fresh Talent Initiative and the National Asylum Support Service to name a few. These growing populations have particular needs and strengths and the ACN is in a unique position to articulate these on behalf of our member groups. Current census data.
- The link between the second city of the Empire, Africa and the Caribbean stretches back over 300 years and there is a clear gap in awareness about this relationship, how it has developed over time and how it contributed to the wealth of Scotland, Glasgow in particular. The exciting opportunity exists for the ANC to portray the story of this relationship and ensure that tolerance and integration are at the heart of all attempts to educate.
- Contemporary Glasgow has re-established itself as a global force and has driven a renewed energy in civic participation and cultural awareness. The ACN was formed during this historic period and has enjoyed a shared experience which has placed it at the heart of the Glasgow story. Our ambition is to strengthen this relationship and become a key element of Glasgow’s future.
- Glasgow is host to a rich diversity of cultural and community venues. The ACC brings a unique addition to this mix.
In recent years the ACN has – like many third sector organisations – experienced financial hardship which has resulted in some significant issues which have required the focus and energy of the management board and volunteers involved in the running and upkeep of the centre. The ACN has been run solely by volunteers since its inception in 2005. While there has been a committed group driving developments, in recent times a gap in capacity of our volunteers has been evident which has stalled the development of the Centre and the work of the Network. As much as this plan is about developing the role of the Network it can’t be avoided to highlight that a major priority is ensuring the immediate security of the Centre, establishing a credible plan for financial stability and instilling confidence in our major stakeholders.
For more images and videos, check https://www.facebook.com/pages/African-and-Caribbean-Network/1448974465361736?fref=ts
Immediate priorities for funding include;
1. Installation of heating and hot water system in the African and Caribbean Centre. Costing - £2, 500.00
2. Renovation and upgrade of the basement toilets to provide the number of required toilets for event licence approval. Costing £6,000.00
3. Renovation of fire exits and fire equipments - £1,500.00
These have been the specific requirements from the Licencing Board that are required for the Centre before an application can be made. The business case for the centre to be licenced is that this is the most important step required that will actually make the centre be able to generate income from bookings within its Social Enterprise model to sustain and maintain its continued existence.