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 CCSE’s principal activities comprises 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, we have focused on research enquiries assessing the extent to which Paisley’s investment in arts, culture, heritage and events activity has produced intended outcomes – and what unintended outcomes have emerged. CCSE has ensured that research and evaluation expertise are fundamental and embedded parts of Paisley’s approach to cultural regeneration, through an assessment of the Future Paisley programme.
Renfrewshire Council’s commitment to the establishment of the CCSE has been driven 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. Radically change Paisley’s image and reputation in Scotland, the UK, and internationally.
- 2. Raise prosperity and increase wellbeing in our communities.
- 3. Paisley will be recognised for its cultural innovation.
- 4. Transform Paisley into a vibrant town centre.
- 5. Develop a sustainable and resilient creative economy in Renfrewshire
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. The bidding process resulted in a commitment to build on the momentum garnered at the time, to lead Paisley’s cultural renewal into the future.
Two recent PhD studentships have focused on this theme. The first studentship utilsed participatory arts practices to investigate the impact of the arts on health. The second studentship was embedded within Renfrewshire Council’s Regeneration Service and investigating, evidencing and analysing the direct and indirect effects on Paisley’s local economy of cultural regeneration programmes and the stimulation of local creative industries.
Within 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 and policy engagement.