Paisley’s County Square was packed with lions, kids and families as the Pride of Paisley bid fond farewell to the town.
Huge crowds turned out at the weekend to catch all 25 Paisley lions together for one last big party before they are auctioned off for charity.
During their three month stay in Paisley, the lions were a big draw for kids, families, shoppers and visitors to the town.
The massively popular public art trail was brought to the streets of Paisley by business regeneration group Paisley First, taking place as part of the push towards the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
The Pride of Paisley project was inspired by Paisley Museum’s famous Buddy the lion and each lion featuring a unique aspect of Paisley’s heritage and history.
Wild At Art events elsewhere in the UK are bringing a boost in shopping centre footfall by around 25 per cent, a sales hike of almost 20 per cent and a 39 per cent increase in the number of visitors.
Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First Manager, said: “Thank you to everybody who came into Paisley to say goodbye to the lions. The Pride of Paisley has been a massive success for Paisley with over 40 schools in Renfrewshire participating and over 20,000 people visiting the lions during the summer. These people then used many of our local shops, cafes and restaurants. The project also appealed to wide range of ages, and from speaking to visitors at the farewell, everybody enjoyed having the lions in town.
“The lions will soon be auctioned off, so if you want to own a piece of Paisley history, then please get your bid in”.
Accord and St Vincent’s hospices will both benefit from the money raised at the Pride of Paisley charity auction on Friday 21 October.
The auction takes place in the Normandy Hotel and tickets (£36) include a three course meal and entertainment from Scottish legend, Andy Cameron, Clanadonia, Clyde, Iain Forbes and Cat Caldwell. Anyone who wishes to buy a lion but is unable to attend the auction can download and return an Advanced Auction Bid form from www.paisleyfirst.com.
Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Pride of Paisley captured the imagination of everyone in Renfrewshire and beyond. Everywhere in town was buzzing with kids and families visiting the lions all around the town centre.
“The public art trail was a fantastic opportunity to explore the town and look at our heritage and history. As the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 continues, there will be more exciting projects like this taking place in Paisley and Renfrewshire.”
The art trail’s headlining sponsors were: West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Leisure, The Piazza, Paisley First, Paisley 2021 and PACE Theatre Company.
To book a place at the Pride of Paisley charity auction, visit www.prideofpaisley.co.uk/