The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) will hold its 34th World Conference at the Edinburgh Conference Centre at Heriot-Watt University from 11 to 15 July 2011.

It is the first time that Girlguiding UK has hosted this event since 1975 when it was held at Sussex University in Brighton. The World Conference is held every three years with the last conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2008.

Over 500 delegates are expected to attend the event which has as its theme – 100 Years of Changing Lives – Empowerment and Leadership for Girls and Young Women.

Liz Pitcairn, a member of the Girlguiding UK organising committee says the World guiding community is looking forward to coming to Scotland.

“It was at the last conference in South Africa when Girlguiding UK won the bid to host the World conference. Girlguiding UK celebrated its centenary last year and we felt this would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase to the World what Guiding is all about in this country. We also felt that it was only fitting that the event should return to the UK which is the birth place of Guiding during WAGGGS's own centenary celebrations which are taking place from 2010 to 2012.

“Edinburgh was suggested as an ideal venue as it combines every ingredient this conference requires; a safe and secure city, an international venue, history and culture. We researched many facilities and came up with the Edinburgh Conference Centre @ Heriot-Watt University. It offers the perfect location, situated in beautiful grounds on the outskirts of the city. It is safe, accessible and offers high standards of accommodation and excellent conference facilities.”

Commercial Operations Manager at the Edinburgh Conference Centre, Lynne Geary said:

“We are honoured to have been chosen as the venue for the 34th WAGGGS World conference.

“This is one of the biggest and most prestigious events we have hosted and it is testimony to the quality of our staff and the flexibility and accessibility of the Edinburgh Conference Centre @ Heriot-Watt University that we have been chosen by the Girl Guiding community.

“As a former Girl Guide I am excited at the prospect of so many people who are passionate about Guiding and Girl Scouts coming from across the world to visit Scotland. We would like to wish WAGGGS every success for their event – we can’t wait to welcome them to Edinburgh.”