Dr Alison McCandlish is a Lead researcher at the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events, this post offers a short insight into her work and is part of a series of research profiles on key staff and associates at the Centre.

Dr Alison McCandlish

Alison is a practitioner-researcher, with an academic background in Creative Media Practice, European Urban Conservation, Education and Town Planning and her main research interests lie in heritage, culture and creative community engagement techniques. At the Centre, Alison contributes to research across the Centre themes, developed the centre visual identity and digital presence, and assists with event management at CCSE symposiums and events.

Alison recently completed her practice-based PhD, “Bidding for City of Culture status: revealing hidden heritage through creative research methods and the role of digital cultural asset mapping” examining the idea that every area contains a wide range of cultural assets which deserve to be recognised and celebrated and that by involving community groups who may be traditionally under-represented in cultural participation, a more complete picture can be mapped and developed which more accurately reveals the hidden cultural assets of an area.


The research discusses the meaning of cultural assets, and proposes an original scale of meaning to attribute five ascending levels of significance to these assets, recognising that one venue can take on many strands of meaning whether or not it is of statutory importance. This, together with conclusions on the importance of multi-use assets, places of self-care and everyday interaction provides a step towards addressing issues around local engagement with culture and heritage (Mydland and Grahn, 2012, Schofield, 2014), contributing towards knowledge within the cultural policy and heritage engagement fields.

Since completing her PhD Alison has been appointed as a research assistant at the Centre, has been working on consultancy projects with Historic Environment Scotland, PAS and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and acts as an Associate Tutor with University College of Estate Management.

Find out more about our other Lead Researchers, CCSE Director, PhD students and the CCSE Renfrewshire Council Cultural Regeneration team here.