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Contribution to knowledge- Practice

With regards to practice, I have three broad categories of contributions to knowledge; the production of an original portfolio of practice based research, contributions towards knowledge exchange among partners and the production of practice based research which contributed towards a live civic bid for a high profile national competition.


The portfolio of items produced in the form of digital cultural asset mapping, cognitive mapping and digital storytelling all represented original work, as prior to the research there was no cultural asset map for the area. The use of word clouds to represent the cognitive maps is a creative application of the approach discussed by Gieseking (2013).


As the discipline of cultural asset mapping has the potential to inform policy (Lee and Gilmore, 2012) it is pertinent to note that the research has resulted in events between the University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and the Creative Renfrewshire Network, feeding into the DCMS (2017) Paisley 2021 bid, contributing to this national competition and informing policy at Renfrewshire Council. The use of findings through my multi-modal methods represent a contribution to the debate around what cultural assets comprise, and the importance of multi-use assets, as currently being debated in the forthcoming Scottish Policy document (Scottish Government, 2018a) therefore these are relevant and timeous discussions.


Locally, my work made a direct empirical contribution to the Paisley 2021 bid as part of a national competition (as outlined in sections x), and it has also contributed towards further work which is part of a national pilot scheme, as shown in this testimony:

The research has life beyond the bid. It is supporting work funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the network of cultural and heritage assets and organisations as part of the Paisley and Renfrewshire Great

Place Scheme” (McMillan, 2018)


The Great Place Scheme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and takes place in England and Scotland. Renfrewshire Council have been successful in an award towards work in “Developing a Cultural Destination - £250,000” (Heritage Lottery Fund, 2018). As a practitioner-researcher this offers a valuable opportunity to continue engagement with cultural conversations in this area, and as part of national agendas for heritage and placemaking.

Further opportunities for development of the research are discussed in section 6.5.