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The new Centre for Culture, Sport and Events (CCSE) has launched at UWS Paisley Campus, building on the 2021 City of Culture bid legacy and aiming to further establish the town as a centre for excellence in cultural regeneration.

The Centre is a partnership between UWS and Renfrewshire Council and aims to establish Paisley as a centre for excellence in cultural regeneration, providing a unique space for collaborative research which will shape policy decisions relating to the regeneration of Paisley and the wider area.

Research conducted will directly inform Renfrewshire Council’s ongoing step change work and will be used to influence policy and practice in relation to culture, sport and events at a local, national and international level.

The partnership also includes the creation of three fully funded PhD student scholarships which are jointly-funded by UWS and Renfrewshire Council. The PhD students’ research will include how culture and the media transform the impression of place; an investigation into how poverty and health plays into culture-led regeneration; and an assessment into the value of arts, culture and festivals to Paisley’s economy.

Based at the university’s Paisley Campus, the PhD students will also spend time working in Renfrewshire Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde within their arts programme and the Paisley Culture, Arts & Social Care Network.

The creation of the Centre is another example of UWS making a major contribution to the communities of which it is a part. The university is committed to working with organisations, businesses and individuals in the town to ensure a continued positive socio-economic impact on Paisley.

“CCSE will provide a space for collaborative and interdisciplinary research that has impact at a local, national and international level."
Professor Gayle McPherson - CCSE Director

Professor Gayle McPherson, Events and Cultural Policy at UWS’ School of Media, Culture and Society and CCSE Director said: “CCSE will provide a space for collaborative and interdisciplinary research that has impact at a local, national and international level. Research evidence produced through the Centre will contribute to academic excellence and influence policy makers and practitioners working in culture, sport and events and social policy and change. The Centre will utilise a range of robust and innovative methodologies to undertake research and work with key beneficiaries in the production of research outputs.”

Renfrewshire Council’s step change work forms the basis of the Future Paisley Partnership’s cultural regeneration activity which both UWS and Renfrewshire Council are a part of. Paisley is currently undergoing a major renovation with over £100m being invested into the town centre which includes the refurbishment of Paisley Museum and Paisley Town Hall.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I am delighted that Renfrewshire Council and the University of the West of Scotland are working in partnership on the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events.

“The UK City of Culture bidding process firmly established the idea that Paisley’s culture and heritage can be used to transform its future."

"The research that will be undertaken by the CCSE will be hugely beneficial to Renfrewshire and will continue to demonstrate the impact that cultural regeneration has in our communities, and will help to establish Paisley as a centre of excellence for cultural regeneration.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, UWS said: “Paisley was a powerhouse in the 19th century, instrumental in the success of Scotland’s textile industry. Culture has always played an integral role in the identity of this town and UWS is proud of its involvement in the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events, in particular its work in research, supporting policy making and PhD studentships, which will underpin Paisley’s transformation and herald an exciting next chapter for the town.”

To mark the launch of the CCSE, an event was held at UWS’ Paisley Campus on Thursday 21 March where invited guests were given an introduction into the work of the Centre from CCSE Director, UWS’ Professor Gayle McPherson and Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Partnership Strategic Lead, Leonie Bell.

This was followed by a panel discussion exploring how Paisley can lead the way in cultural regeneration for other towns as well as what Paisley can learn from other destinations. Panellists included Glasgow-based artist Mandy McIntosh, Create London’s Hadrian Garrard and Kate Oakley, Professor in Culture and Creative Arts at the School of Culture & Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow.

For more information about the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events please visit