Perth’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is led by a Programme Board. The Board is chaired by Cllr Ian Miller, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, and includes members representing:
- Horsecross Arts
- Culture Perth and Kinross
- Pitlochry Festival Theatre
- Perth Festival of the Arts
- Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust
- Perth and Kinross Civic Trust
- The City Development Board
- The Action Partnership for Perth City
Reporting to the Board is a Bid Project Team which is led by Perth & Kinross Council Senior Depute Chief Executive John Fyffe. Its members are:
- Fiona Robertson, Head of Culture and Public Service Reform, Perth & Kinross Council
- Programmes and funding
- John Symon, Head of Finance, Perth & Kinross Council
- Stephen Crawford, Head of Property Services, Perth & Kinross Council
- Capital programme
- David Stokoe, Service Manager – Communities, Perth & Kinross Council
- Community participation
- Ruth Fry, Corporate Communications Manager, Perth & Kinross Council
- John McCrone, City Development Manager, Perth & Kinross Council
- Business engagement
Cultural sector expertise
The organisations and individuals leading the development of the cultural programme for the bid have a huge range of experience and expertise. Horsecross Arts has a multi award-winning team with a reputation for adventurous programming, unique commissions, critically acclaimed performances by world-class artists and inspirational community activities. Culture Perth and Kinross is a new, dynamic trust. It builds on a strong history of partnership working and is already collaborating with the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow, Abertay University in Dundee and the Royal Scottish Academy and Stills Gallery in Edinburgh. Pitlochry Festival Theatre has an international reputation for the high quality and scale of its productions, drawing over 100,000 visitors from through the UK and abroad every year.
Community capacity building
Perth & Kinross Council’s Communities Service and the area’s newly established Action Partnerships represent decades of Perth and Kinross being at the forefront of community participation in Scotland. The Action Partnerships and staff working in communities possess a rich knowledge of the areas they work in, local community groups and cultural activities and projects. The team are experienced in managing large scale community participation events and ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard and actively involved. Staff also actively support individuals in creative writing, photography and visual arts projects. The Gaelic Development Officer works with local Gaelic language and cultural groups and is part of the community participation delivery team for City of Culture, as are key community based staff from Culture Perth and Kinross and Perth and Kinross Association of Voluntary Service.
The team behind events such as the Perth 2021 media launch and the Community Cultural Celebration have an enviable track record. Working with the European Tour and EventScotland, they made the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles the most successful ever, showcasing Perth and Kinross as an ideal venue. Their organisational skills put together the Perth 800 celebrations, a growing series of festivals and numerous royal visits – including from the Queen, when she conferred city status on Perth in 2012. With great community buy-in to events like the Queen’s Baton and Olympic Torch relays, the area has shown it welcomes events at all levels.
Business sector support
Perth City Development Board includes representatives from Perth College UHI, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise, Perth Traders Association and the area’s largest employers. A business launch will be/was held on 22 November to inform and engage local companies and the bid has been promoted through a series of Business Month events.