Recovery, Repair & Renewal. CCSE Conference 2021: Meet The Speakers

The Centre of Culture, Sports and Events (CCSE) at the University of the West of Scotland will be holding their annual conference on Wednesday, 9th June 2021 and would like to invite you to attend.


The theme this year is on Recovery, Repair & Renewal: The role of arts and culture in the future of urban places, and will, like last year, be held virtually, streaming on all SBCI social media platforms, that will be linked below. To register for the event please click here.


The stream will be broadcast over Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at the links below:

  1. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/UWSSBCIStories

  2. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UWSBusinessStories

  3. Twitter: https://twitter.com/UWSSBCIBusiness

  4. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/uwsbusent


Andrew Dixon


Andrew Dixon is one the UK’s leading cultural place consultants. He worked for 20 years in the North East as CEO of Northern Arts, Executive Director for Arts Council England and CEO of NewcastleGateshead Initiative where he also took a regional lead for tourism research. He has worked with over 80 local authorities, across the UK as well as 12 Universities and various LEPs, tourism and development agencies and private developers.


Andrew’s Company - Culture Creativity Place www.andrewdixon.org specialises in place based cultural development and partnerships. He advised and led on successful bids for Hull 2017, Coventry 2021 UK City of Culture, Leeds 2023 and York’s UNESCO status. As Chief Executive of Northern Arts, Andrew was responsible for the £250 million Case for Capital; raising resources and helping implement projects such as The Sage Gateshead, Baltic, Theatre by the Lake and iconic public art such as the Angel of the North. As Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the public private sector partnership, he helped the repositioning of the city for culture and tourism initiating the successful tourism and hotel growth strategies. Andrew was Programme Director for the World Summit on Arts and Culture attracting 80 countries to Gateshead in 2006 and was the founding Chief Executive of Creative Scotland introducing place-based investment in Scotland and acting as an adviser to the Scottish Government Town Centre Review.


He has an honorary doctorate from The University of Northumbria and is a Visiting Professor at Coventry University and Warwick Business School. He has spoken widely on cultural policy, tourism and the arts including in Ireland, Australia, Sweden, Turkey, USA, Hong Kong, Sierra Leone and South Africa and has recently worked in Portugal and Saudi Arabia advising on cultural events and evaluation. Case study - Coventry - advised UK City of Culture bid, the creation of a new culture trust and the formation of the Cultural Place Partnership. He co-wrote the cultural strategy and commissioned tourism, audience and visitor research to inform the destination management plan. He produced a capital strategy for the Coventry Warwickshire LEP helping to secure over £40 million capital investment in the city for projects such as Coventry Cathedral, Daimler Powerhouse and Fargo Village. He led the consultation, visioning and applications for successful bids to Heritage Lottery Great Places and ACE Cultural destinations funds. www.andrewdixon.org



Louisa Mahon


Louisa Mahon is Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council. She is the strategic lead for the Paisley Partnership and has responsibility for corporate communications and marketing, cultural regeneration, regional destination marketing and the council’s major events programme – which attracts 160,000 attendees each year.


Louisa’s remit also includes overseeing the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum Reimagined. Louisa led the campaign for Paisley’s Bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and Paisley’s bid to host the Royal National Mod in 2022. Previously she held senior marketing and PR roles in local government and at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.


Prof Gayle McPherson


Professor Gayle McPherson holds a Chair in Events and Cultural Policy and is the Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Her research interests revolve around the interventions of the local and national state and wider agencies in events and festivity and the social and cultural impacts of large-scale sports events on communities. She recently led, as the Principal Investigator, and completed two research projects on the Contribution of Art and Culture in Global Security and Stability and the Inclusive Cultural Heritage for Skills Development in Kenya on behalf of the British Council. She is currently Co-I on the SSHRC project Major Sport Events and Parasport Participation: Investigating Post-Event Opportunities and Experiences with colleagues in Canada and a Co-I on the HERA funded project FESTSPACE: Festivals, events and inclusive public spaces.


She is currently leading as PI a research grant on the Social Value of Community Events, funded by Spirit of 2012 and Local Trust. She has a range of external roles and she acted as the Legacy and Evaluation advisor to Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid team, is member of European Cultural Parliament and was an expert advisor to the OECD on their Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development. She has published widely in the events, culture, sport, festivals and events area, is a reviewer for many journals and acts as a college panel member for the AHRC. She is a REF sub-panel member of Unit 24 Sport, Exercise Science, Leisure and Tourism 2021, and is Co-Chief Editor of Frontiers in Sport and Active Living: Sport, Leisure and Tourism section.


Professor Gayle McPherson https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/gayle-mcpherson


Prof David McGillivray


David McGillivray holds a Chair in Event and Digital Cultures at University of the West of Scotland. His main research interests focus on a critical reading of the contemporary significance of events and festivals (sporting and cultural) as markers of identity and mechanisms for the achievement of wider economic, social and cultural externalities. He also possesses research expertise and experience related to digital leisure cultures.


He has published extensively in the area of critical event studies, and, increasingly in the realm of digital and social media studies. In recent years he has also sought to bring his research closer to non-academic publics, both in the research designs he has utilised (e.g. PAR) and in the dissemination of his academic outputs through public engagement and collaborative work with the beneficiaries of research. He is co-author of Event Bidding: Politics, Persuasion and Resistance (2017), Event Policy: From Theory to Strategy (2012) and Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (2018). He is also co-editor of Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives (2017) and Research Themes for Events (2013). He publishes extensively in events, leisure, sport and urban outlets and has significant experience of securing research grants in these areas. He is currently leading on a large HERA-funded project, FESTSPACE, focused on the relationship between festivals and events and public space in Europe.


Marie Christie


Marie has worked at a senior level in the Events and Festivals sector for more than twenty years. She currently heads up the Development department within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, leading teams with responsibility for Events Industry Development, Events and Exhibitions, Themed Years and Growth Fund.

Joining the EventScotland management team in 2003, Marie designed and ran EventScotland’s successful National Events Programme, working with a wide range of events across the country. Marie also led the delivery of Homecoming Scotland 2009 - a year-long celebration of Scotland’s culture and heritage which influenced an additional 95,000 visitors to travel to join the celebrations generated an estimated £53.7M additional revenue for Scotland. Prior to her current post, Marie was EventScotland’s International Cultural Events Director with responsibility for leading and delivering the strategy for supporting Scotland’s major cultural events and for securing new ‘one-off’ events such as MTV Europe Music Awards and the Turner Prize.


Before joining the organisation, Marie was General Manager and Producer with UZ Events, creating and delivering large scale events such as the Glasgow Art Fair, On the Streets: City of Design 1999 and Glasgow’s Hogmanay, Big in Falkirk and the celebrations to open the Scottish Parliament. Marie’s early career was in Arts Marketing, including time as the Press and Marketing Manager for Wildcat Stage Productions. Marie graduated from Glasgow University with a MA (Hons) in History of Art and from Queen Margaret University with an MBA in Cultural Management and Policy. She is co-author of the popular publication Events Management: A practical guide


Mark Mackie


Mark Mackie is a concert, music promoter and director of Edinburgh-based Regular Music. Mark began his career promoting bands as the entertainment convenor at the University of Glasgow's Queen Margaret Union in the early 1980s. Beginning bands such as The Bluebells and Del Amitri, he progressed to book the likes of The Psychedelic Furs and The Smiths at their peak. Indeed, The Pogues performed their first ever Scottish show at the QMU. Mark’s association with Regular Music has spanned three decades and embraced the foremost musicians of the times, from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Willie Nelson to Oasis, U2, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon and Eddi Reader and Runrig.

Mark was a key advocate in the refurbishment and re-launch of Glasgow’s iconic Kelvingrove Bandstand where – it is hoped – that Summer Nights will return across dates in July and August next year.


Sarah Grant


Sarah Grant is a Creative Arts Co-ordinator in Mental Health and Addictions for the NHS. She is a qualified Art Therapist and Art Educator and works across Dykebar and Leverndale Hospitals and the Community based Recovery Hub in Paisley.

Sarah is the Creative Lead for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival in Renfrewshire.


Jackie Sands


Jackie Sands steers a strategic programme of Environmental Art and Design Development for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

She works with National and regional partners, local stakeholders and arts professionals to integrate art and creativity into new Capital Modernisation and design enhancement schemes for New Hospitals, Health and Care Centres, specialist community and mental health services and green spaces. The work includes the promotion of ‘the art, architecture, greenspace and therapeutic placemaking dialogue’ and the animating of NHSGGC public spaces via exhibitions, commissioning of Public Art and coordination of live and digital performing arts events.


Jackie is a trained Theatre Designer, a qualified art teacher and has an MA Distinction in Art in Architecture. She has worked for NHSGGC for over 15 years and was seconded to the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation during this time 2016 -2018. She recently started to combine her work with PhD supervision, HE teaching and the mentoring of an Arts and Humanities Research Council early career researcher carrying out a retrospective review of the NHSGGC arts programme contribution to Therapeutic Placemaking. The expected outcome from this research will be a symposium launch of a co-authored Therapeutic Placemaking Handbook.


Marie Collins


Marie is the Music Project Producer at Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team. Within her role, Marie develops and delivers high quality arts projects, programmes, and events in collaboration with Renfrewshire artists and communities with a focus on music. As well as her tole within RL, Marie is a working musician and part of Paisley-based band The Vegan Leather who won Best Live Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and were named by The List magazine among the year’s Hot 100 most influential cultural figures in Scotland.





Siobhan Gray


Siobhan Gray is a Community Learning Officer for Renfrewshire Council Youth Services. She supports young people to get involved in creative opportunities and develop their skills to empower other young people to tackle youth issues that are relevant to them.


Working in partnership with RL arts officer Marie Collins, Siobhan supports the ArtBOSS young producers, who have recently received a Young Scot Award for their contribution to the Arts.


Siobhan has a creative background in Fashion and Textiles and believes that bringing the Arts into young people’s daily lives can have a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.


Art Boss

Art Boss Young Producers project has been developed and delivered as part of Future Paisley, involving young people aged 14-18 who are care experienced, young carers or wish to gain support with improving their mental health and wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem. It is a partnership between Renfrewshire Leisure, Renfrewshire Council Youth Services. The work is overseen by the Culture, Arts and Social Care group, a strategic group established as part of the Future Paisley programme. This project aim to support young people to develop new skills through the arts to produce content, media, or events to promote positive wellbeing to other young people within Renfrewshire.


Highlights of the work they have produced include their ‘Count on me’ music video that was shared through social media platforms to promote positive wellbeing to other young people through the difficult period of isolation and staying at home. As a thanks to the Key workers of Renfrewshire the young producers wrote, performed and produced the video ‘Here is our Love’ that was showcased at the 2020 online SMA Shot event. During the Summer the Art Boss Young Producers delivered a graphic novel kit that they used in workshops led by established illustrator Charlotte Cabrie to co-produce their very own graphic novel ‘The Attic’ which highlights the importance of friendship and communication when times are trying, through a quirky teenage adventure story exploring the arts in the past and present.


Lan Pham


Lan’s interests, both professionally and personally are in improving health and wellbeing through culture, sports, the arts and everyday activity. This led to her joining UWS, to undertake a PhD that explores how culture and the arts might affect health and wellbeing. Lan started her academic study and career as an economist. In her role as an economic development consultant, she specialised in the sectors of tourism, renewable energy and higher education. She then moved to working with advice services. This gave her experience of research centred around people’s experiences of poverty. In her career, she was interested in improving processes and methodologies to demonstrate impact and undertake evaluation.


Niclas Hell


Niclas Hell is a PhD student at CCSE, and his thesis project studies the values created in the Paisley creative sector in relation to events and the 2021 bidding process. His wider research interests include event evaluation and social mobilisation in the periphery. Before his time as a researcher, he worked in international NGOs including Doctors of the World and Stockholm International Water Institute with analysis and communication.








Conor Wilson


Conor’s varied research interests are reflected in his diverse academic background. Prior to my commencing his doctoral study, he completed an MSc in Applied Social Science (Criminal Justice and Community Practice) at UWS, graduating with distinction, becoming – at the time - one of the first students from the university to complete a collaborative research project alongside Police Scotland. He also holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology.


Conor’s research examines the role of the media within culture-led regeneration. He is specifically focussed on the role of both traditional and social media in creating and circulating messages about Paisley and its social, economic and cultural histories, and, assessing the impact that this has in terms of place impressions. As such, the overarching aim of Conor’s work is to explore the extent to which the Paisley 2021 UK Capital of Culture bid’s media campaigns impacted on both internal and external perceptions of Paisley.