Bridget McConnell

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McConnell receives CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2015

Dr Bridget Mary McConnell, Baroness McConnell of Glenscorrodale, CBE (born 28 May 1958) is a Scottish cultural administrator and current Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow Life, the charity responsible for delivering culture and sport in Glasgow. McConnell was instrumental in Glasgow’s successful bid for and subsequent hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, serving as a member of the organising committee and as the Director of Ceremonies and Culture, while overseeing infrastructure required for the games. Since being in charge of Glasgow Life, McConnell has been responsible for the £35 million refurbishment of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, an upgrade of the Mitchell Library and a major overhaul of the city’s sports, leisure, arts and cultural facilities.[1] McConnell is the wife of former First Minister of Scotland, Jack McConnell. In 2006, she was voted #15 in The Scotsman’s power 100 list[2]

Education and career[edit]

McConnell was educated at Our Lady's High School, Cumbernauld, going on to graduate from St Andrews University (MA hons, 1982), Dundee College of Commerce (DIA 1983) and Stirling University (MA, 1992; EdD, 2009).[3] McConnell worked as an arts officer in Fife Council, before joining Glasgow City Council in 1998 as Director of Cultural and Leisure Services.[3] In 2006 McConnell drove the devolution of Glasgow City Council’s Cultural and Leisure services, forming the arms length executive organisation ALEO charity, Glasgow Life. As CEO of Glasgow Life, McConnell oversees an annual budget of c.£113 million and leads a staff of 2,800.[4] She has served on numerous national committees and boards, including the Heritage Lottery Fund for Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. McConnell was made a CBE in 2015 in recognition of Services to Culture.[5]


McConnell’s principal focus is culture and sport generated tourism as a means to increase revenue in the city. She has overseen multiple major infrastructure projects, including the £35 million Zaha Hadid designed Riverside Museum, the £113 million Emirates Arena, and the current re-development of Kelvinhall and The Burrell Collection. [6] In 2012 McConnell came under fire for prioritising business interests, in particular property development and tourism, over supporting the arts in Glasgow (part of her role as CEO at Glasgow Life).[7]

Personal life[edit]

While studying at St Andrew's University, McConnell met Procol Harum lead guitarist Richard Brown, and they had a daughter, Hannah, and a son, Mark, three years later. In 1987 McConnell filed for divorce from Brown, eventually marrying politician Jack McConnell who would become First Minister of Scotland in 2001.[8] In 2001, Jack McConnell admitted to having an affair with Labour Party press officer, Maureen Smith.[9]


  1. ^ "Executive Team Glasgow 2014". Glasgow 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ "The Scotsman Power 100: 11-20". The Scotsman. The Scotsman. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Dr Bridget McConnell Who's Who entry". Who's Who UK. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U25411. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Arts and Business Scotland entry for Dr Bridget McConnell CBE". Arts and Business Scotland. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Queens New year Honour's list 2015". Scottish Government. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Honorary graduate". Glasgow University story. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Our lives with Jack by his adopted daughters". The Scotsman. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Leave me alone, says McConnell's lover". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2018.