place-focused culturAL regeneration

This theme includes:

  • cultural participation and engagement
  • arts and health
  • cultural policy and regeneration
  • creative practice
  • socially embedded arts practice 
One of the principal activities of the CCSE is to undertake research and knowledge exchange activities focused on the importance of arts, culture and events to the development of places – in this case Paisley and the wider Renfrewshire area. Under the theme of place-focused cultural regeneration, the CCSE’s focus from 2018-2021 is to undertake research enquiries to assess the extent to which Paisley’s investment in arts, culture, heritage and events activity has produced intended outcomes – and what unintended outcomes have emerged. The CCSE will ensure that research and evaluation expertise are fundamental and embedded parts of Paisley’s approach to cultural regeneration.

Renfrewshire Council’s commitment to the establishment of the CCSE is driven in particular by the need to demonstrate the impact of cultural regeneration and to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary approach to achieving five step changes:

1. Grow a significant new dimension to Paisley’s economy;
2. Radically change Paisley’s image and reputation in Scotland, the UK and internationally;
3. Paisley will be recognised for its cultural excellence;
4. Lift Paisley’s communities out of poverty;
5. Transform Paisley into a vibrant cultural town centre.

Over £100m is being invested to transform Paisley culturally, physically, socially and economically. This investment includes a once-in-a-generation transformation of the town centre, including re-imagining Paisley Museum as a world-class destination, building a new Learning and Cultural Hub at the heart of the High Street and refurbishing the Town Hall so it becomes a landmark entertainment venue. This investment also extends beyond bricks and mortar into neighbourhoods and communities, aiming to take new approaches through the arts, heritage and culture to improving people’s health and wellbeing, raising educational attainment and contributing to inclusive economic growth. Paisley’s cultural regeneration is founded upon and being driven by a partnership approach. The Paisley Partnership led Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid and is now committed to building on this momentum to lead Paisley’s cultural renewal into the future. The Future Paisley Partnership Board includes leading organisations representing Paisley’s communities and businesses, culture and events, further and higher education, health and police. It is grounded in local knowledge and has a national and international reach and influence.
Two PhD studentships will be conducted through this theme. The first studentship will use participatory arts practices to investigate the impact of the arts on health in order to better understand the scope of cultural inclusion for improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities. The doctoral student will be embedded within the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Paisley Partnership’s Culture, Arts and Social Care Network. The second studentship will be embedded within Renfrewshire Council’s Regeneration Service and will investigate, evidence and analyse the direct and indirect effects on Paisley’s local economy of cultural regeneration programmes and the stimulation of the local creative industries sector.

In this theme we also draw on Centre members’ long-term engagement in place-making through embedded research, conducted with disfranchised communities and concerning changes brought about, and intensified, by community voice, media, policy engagement, as well as co-curation with grassroots organizations and local cultural agents. Centre staff have extensive experience of outreach activity, knowledge and research exchange focused on arts-based methods and active citizenship with peripheral communities across Europe, (RSE Arts and Humanities Network Award Regeneration and Heritage Zones in Northern Europe: Interdisciplinary and Cross-Institutional Research Network, Creative Scotland funded Riverside Solidarity; in India Resources of Hope AHRC/GCRF, and in Brazil and Argentina. These projects established a working method based on long-term embedded participatory research-practice in place-making – a multi-stakeholder and cross-institutional platform for co-production of knowledge.

Blogs on this theme: 

Paisley School of Arts | Est. 1838 : A Living Archive Project

Background In 1808, a group of local community figures came together to establish the Paisley Philosophical Institution. This collective vision recognized that there was a growing desire in Paisley, and the wider area, to support and provide cultural and educational...

Conference Presentation in Lausanne…

In early January, CCSE’s Deputy Director, Professor David McGillivray, was invited to the Olympic capital, Lausanne, to present his work as part of an Event, Cities and Urbanism conference hosted by the University of Lausanne. The conference was held alongside the...

Exciting News from Colombia!

CCSE’s Colombian PhD student and associate researcher, Greis Cifuentes has - at the age of 31 – been chosen as the new Development Director for the Fundación Nacional Batuta (FNB) in Colombia. Batuta has a presence in all 32 of the country’s administrative...

Culture, Health and Social Change

This blog is a reblog of content originally posted at Voluntary Health Scotland I joined Renfrewshire Council in late 2018 in the newly-created post of Paisley Partnership, Strategic Lead for Cultural Regeneration, having previously held culture-related roles with the...

Memorialisation, Heritage & Funding at Fort Jesus, Mombasa

As part of the delivery of  cultural heritage training workshops that took place in Mombasa, Kenya from 12-16 November 2019 - as part of the British Council funded Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project - Drs Stephen Collins and Allan Moore took a trip to Fort...

Busy Days During the Halloween Season

The weeks from late October until mid-December always seem to be some of the most hectic of the year, and this is especially true for researchers looking at events like myself. My PhD projects aims at understanding the social and economic impacts of the Paisley urban...

Learning from Regeneration on our Doorstep: Future Paisley field trip to Glasgow’s East End

The Future Paisley Partnership comprises 22 local and national organisations committed to driving forward Paisley’s cultural regeneration. In September 2019, the partnership went on a field trip to Glasgow’s East End to learn about the city’s place-based approaches to...

FESTSPACE symposium: showcase film

This week's blog focuses on a showcase of a symposium we held in June, the film of the HERA-funded FESTSPACE project launch at University of the West of Scotland in June 2019. You can read more about FESTSPACE on the project website http://festspace.net/.

FESTSPACE in Gdansk: Public Spaces – Culture & Integration in Europe Conference

On 11-12th September 2019, CCSE’s Professor David McGillivray and Dr Severin Guillard attended the conference “Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe” as part of their HERA-funded project, FESTSPACE. This 2-day conference was a good opportunity to meet with...

Doctoral Student Launches Street Library in Colombia

A doctoral student and research associate at UWS Greis Cifuentes has also found the time to launch a Street Library program - “Libros a la Calle” - in Ibagué, Colombia. The program seeks to facilitate social cohesion alongside the appropriation of public spaces. It is...