Regeneration-led culture: cultural policy in Glasgow 1970-1989

Edwards, Clare (2018) Regeneration-led culture: cultural policy in Glasgow 1970-1989. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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1990 is significant as the year in which Glasgow hosted the European City of Culture (ECOC), the first UK city and first ‘post-industrial’ city to do so. Glasgow has subsequently been regarded as constituting a ‘model’ of culture-led regeneration. While much has been written about the impacts of ECOC 1990, comparatively little is known about the emergence of cultural policy in Glasgow in the decades leading to 1990. With reference to new archival research and oral history interviews conducted with some of the key decision-makers, this thesis will trace the development of cultural policy in Glasgow during the period 1970 to 1989. It will examine the key actors, the prompting and facilitating factors, critical events and obstacles encountered in the ‘cultural turn’ in Glasgow’s policy making during these two decades. Viewing 1986 as a turning point, it will investigate in particular the strategies employed by Glasgow in developing its ECOC 1990 bid that year. It will examine the decision-making process and consider the roles played by key actors in central government which resulted in Glasgow winning the competition to be the UK’s nomination for ECOC 1990. Taking into account developments such as the concept of the cultural industries, this thesis will discuss the extent to which an explicit cultural policy emerged which encompassed the production and consumption of culture. It will also investigate the extent to which a replicable model of culture-led regeneration developed in Glasgow during the years leading to 1990. The thesis will show that that in 1970, at the start of the period of study, Glasgow did not have a formal cultural policy, nor were the arts and culture explicitly or formally connected to aspirations to regenerate the city. Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, while the city faced severe socio-economic problems, a thriving cultural infrastructure emerged in Glasgow without an explicit, overarching cultural policy to direct its development. In 1986, when the opportunity to bid to host ECOC 1990 arose, the lack of an explicit cultural policy in Glasgow created a strategic vacuum in Glasgow’s bid, which was filled by the increasingly coherent economic development strategies developed for the city in the preceding years. The development of cultural policy in Glasgow was led by the development of the city economy: rather than culture leading regeneration, regeneration led culture.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: cultural policy, culture, culture-led regeneration, Glasgow, Scotland, urban regeneration, local government, 1990, 1980s, 1970s, European City of Culture, European Capital of Culture, oral history, archives, post-industrial city, economic development, arts, festivals, events, policy mobility, public relations, Glasgow District Council, Strathclyde Regional Council, Glasgow Corporation, Collaborative Doctoral Award.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Funder's Name: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Supervisor's Name: Schlesinger, Professor Philip, Scullion, Professor Adrienne and Mark, Dr. O'Neill
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Clare Edwards
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-71938
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 09:02
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 10:56

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