The new Centre for Culture, Sport and Events was launched officially on 21st March, the event was attended by almost a 100 local, national, policy, community and practitioner stakeholders. Representatives of Glasgow School of Art, NHS Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Create Scotland and Scottish Government were in joined contributors to Ferguslie Park community arts projects and PhD students from UWS and Edinburgh University. A discussion exploring the challenges and opportunities encountered in attempts to encourage cultural regeneration featured Create London’s Hadrian Garrard, Professor of Cultural Policy at the University of Glasgow, Kate Oakley and Glasgow-based community artist, Mandy Macintosh.

The speakers gave insights into their work in practice, policy and research at local, national and international levels, leading to a wide-ranging discussion with members of the diverse audience. We were reminded of the importance of the inclusion of the target audience and community members in the process of cultural regeneration and, the perils of the failure to recognise that places have culture even when they have not been the subject of specific interventions!

The occasion of the launch provided the opportunity to celebrate the reciprocal relationships that have been successfully built up between community, practitioner, policy-maker and researcher groups in and around Paisley and Renfrewshire. The Centre for Culture, Sport and Events represents an attempt to continue to foster and learn from these relationships and, to find ways of feeding local and community knowledge into the ongoing process of Paisley’s cultural regeneration.

In addition to the work being undertaken with partners at Renfrewshire Council, the research and dissemination that forms part of the Centre’s wider remit was also on display. Both The Paisley Daily Express and featured write ups of the launch.