Season 3,

Neil Cooney

February 25, 2020

Do you like sneakers? Then this episode is for you. From importing random Japanese zines to working in Hanon in Aberdeen and having over 250 pairs sitting in his garage. Me and Neil chat a lot about trainers in this episode. Even though his journey isn’t really about footwear.

He came to Dundee to set up Borders books store. Which he helped build into the most successful branch in the UK but despite this, the company went into administration. Neil had to go through that process and watch the community he had built disappear.

He seems to have a knack of getting his foot in the door by offering to lend a hand. This saw him working on some of the early-stage public consultations for V&A Dundee, then on to several Business Improvement District projects. In the episode, he also reveals that Kengo Kuma’s design was not actually the public’s first choice! The Bluebell design was the preferred choice but it was deemed too similar to Belfast’s Titanic Museum.

After his work with the V&A Dundee, the Archie foundation approached Neil to help create a fundraising trail. This became the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail that was so successful at getting people out and exploring as well as raising a lot of money for charity. Neil also went on to work on the Maggie’s Penguin Parade and bucket trail number 2. Working with Wild in Art he’s now working on trails projects worldwide. But how long can this model really last? We chat about the possibilities and certain restricting factors for the future.

We finish by talking about a mutual love of trainers. It may be a little self-indulgent but you’ve got to take the chance when it’s there!

Maggie’s Penguin Parade –

Neil’s Instagram –

Wild in Art –

Our Wullie Bucket Trail –

Hanon –

Dundee Sole –

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