Honorary Lecturer

MCPA

Brian Beattie is an Honorary Lecturer in the Media, Communication and Performing Arts Division at Queen Margaret University. 

  • Overview

Bryan Beattie is the CEO of the cultural consultancy, Creative Services, and production company, Big Sky. He has been Expert Adviser to two Ministers of Culture, special adviser to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and was of head the secretariat for Scotland’s Cultural Commission.

He has been Chairman of Scottish Youth Theatre, Eden Court Theatre, Fèis Rois, and Booth Scotland. He is currently Chairman of the Centre for Rural Creativity Advisory Group and Eigg Box. He was a Board member of Scottish Screen, the Dewar Awards, Ross and Cromarty Enterprise, and the University of the Highlands and Islands Foundation.

He has been a senior civil servant, local government development officer, festival director, and actor. He was Chair of Cultural and Leisure Services in the first Highland Council and an elected member for two terms. He writes for BBC radio and TV, has had several plays staged, a CD of his songs released, and was a columnist for the P&J for 14 years.

Bryan has been CEO of Scotland’s longest established cultural consultancy for 28 years and has been involved in around 400 projects during that period. He has undertaken cultural/creative industries venue developments in Aberdeen, Battersea, Cork, Dundee, Dubai, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hartlepool, Wycombe, amongst others, and cultural strategies in 12 Scottish local authority areas.

He secured UNESCO City of Design status for Dundee and led their UK City of Culture and European Capital of Culture bids (he also led the Inverness-Highland ECoC bid in 2003). Clients include the V&A, DC Thomson, Scottish Opera, BBC, Scottish Government and CoSLA.

He has seen public policy and funding for culture from various angles – creating, implementing, receiving, and advising. He prepared the St Andrews Day speech delivered by the First Minister in 2003, which outlined the development of cultural rights as a means of developing more equitable access to cultural opportunities.

In 2010 he founded the production company, Big Sky, which has published several books and CDs, created live touring shows, and produced a landmark 26-part radio series on the arts for Radio Scotland. The projects have involved a range of creative talent including James Robertson, AL Kennedy, Brian Cox, Blythe Duff, Calum Colvin, Michael Clark, Thea Musgrave, David Grieg, Tommy Smith and Lesley Riddoch.

Big Sky projects have been nominated for several awards including Live Event of the Year (2019), Traditional Event of the Year (2015), Made In Scotland (2014) Paperback of the Week (2010). As a broadcaster with BBC Radio 3 and Radio Scotland Bryan was nominated for a Sony Award; a series he devised as Development Producer for an independent TV company won the BAFTA for Best Entertainment Series.

He is founder and Chairman of TappStory, a digital tech start-up developing contactless solutions in retail and visitor markets.

He is currently Creative Director of the Inverness Castlehill development, a major project in the city centre that will redevelop the Castle as a visitor attraction, create a new museum and gallery complex, and redevelop the commercial and office provision in the area.