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Paisley to host Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017

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The Scots Trad Music Awards are to be held in Paisley in December 2017 for the first time.

The news was announced by event founder Simon Thoumire at this year’s Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony in Caird Hall, Dundee on Saturday, December 3.

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The BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards are considered a major highlight in the traditional music calendar. The aim of the annual awards is to highlight Scotland’s wonderful traditional music in all its forms and to create a high profile opportunity that will shine a light on talent as well as the industry in general.

From its inception in 2003, the awards have steadily grown in popularity and prestige attracting television coverage by BBC ALBA in 2007 and major sponsorship from MG ALBA in 2008. This year’s awards will be broadcast to the world (via bbc.co.uk/alba) and it is hoped this will afford Scotland’s largest town an opportunity to share news of its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 with a global audience.  

The is also further evidence that Paisley is capable of hosting high profile music events – it hosted both the British Pipe Band Championships and the Scottish Album of the Year Awards this year, with both returning in 2017.  

It is also proof of Paisley’s burgeoning music scene. Renfrewshire’s talents have featured heavily in the BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards in recent years with The Scott Wood Band nominated for ‘Folk Band of the Year’ in 2014 while Johnstone Pipe Band are in contention for ‘Pipe Band of the Year’ this year (see separate release for results).

Simon Thoumire said, “Hands Up for Trad are really delighted that the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards will be hosted by Paisley, currently bidding for the UK City of Culture title in 2021, home of The Spree, and the birth place of some of Scotland’s finest musical talent. We’re really looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council to make the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017 the best yet“.

Welcoming the Trad Awards announcement, Renfrewshire Council leader, Mark Macmillan, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Trad Awards in 2017 and look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world. Paisley’s music scene is thriving, offering formal concerts and more impromptu gigs in local cafes, bars and restaurants, as organisers grow in confidence. Add several major music events in 2017 and the reasons to visit have grown enormously.”                      

For more information on the Scots Trad Music Awards visit: https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/scotstradmusicawards/

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Scottish Labour leader backs Paisley 2021 bid

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has publicly backed Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, in the latest show of cross-party political support for the town’s ambitions.

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Photos courtesy of Hannah Thomson for Paisley.org.uk

 

The Scottish Labour leader gave her backing during a visit to Paisley Museum where she met young people involved in an award winning creative youth project being funded by the bid.

The bid has received cross-party support, with local politicians hosting events in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

The growing support follows on from recent high-profile backers of the campaign, with musician Paolo Nutini and artist John Byrne – who both hail from the town – having done so in recent weeks.

While visiting the town, she was met by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Paisley 2021 Bid Manager Stuart McMillan and by participants in Project Z – which will see young people from the town’s Ferguslie Park area trained to write and create their own graphic novels.

 

The project was part-funded by the area’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, a £500,000 five-year scheme which aims to boost the capacity of the local creative scene during the Paisley 2021 bid.

It also received funding from Renfrewshire Council’s ground-breaking Tackling Poverty Programme, which covers a wide range of projects aimed at taking on long-term deprivation issues in the area.

The Paisley 2021 bid aims to use the town’s outstanding collection of heritage and cultural assets to improve the area’s prospects and transform its future.

Kezia’s visit to Paisley Museum comes in the week a fundraising strategy was unveiled for a £49m redevelopment of the Victorian-era building which aims to turn it into a visitor experience of international quality, telling the inspirational stories of Paisley, its heritage and its pattern.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“I am delighted to back Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021. A successful bid can support the work Renfrewshire Council is already doing to transform Paisley and would leave a legacy that could improve the lives of people in the town.

“Culture can change the lives of young people living in poverty. Supporting people to develop new skills means they can grow their confidence and compete for the jobs of the future. I had the privilege of meeting with some very talented and engaging young people. All they need is the right support to have a fair chance in life. Paisley’s bid for City of Culture 2021 can be part of that.

“The Glasgow City Deal also provides an opportunity to regenerate Renfrewshire. The UK and Scottish governments should deliver the necessary funding as soon as possible, so people in Renfrewshire can start to feel the benefit of this investment.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan said:

“It was great to welcome Kezia to Paisley today and talk her through the ambitious and hugely exciting vision we have for the town over the years ahead.

“It was also good to meet some of the young people taking part in one of our innovative tackling poverty projects – ultimately the Paisley 2021 bid is about the power of culture to change people’s lives for the better.

“Paisley Museum was a fitting venue for the visit given its status as the anchor project in our plans – the proposed revamp is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year into the town centre, creating a boost to the local economy and attracting new jobs.

“Running alongside the major infrastructure improvements being delivered through the Glasgow City Region City Deal – including our plans for a tram-train link between Glasgow Airport and Paisley Gilmour Street Station – major opportunities lie ahead for Renfrewshire and we want to ensure the future for local communities is a bright one.”

Hayden Chivers, aged 18, and a member of Project Z, said:

“This project is a fantastic opportunity that helps improve our life skills and prepare us for the world of work. We’ve been meeting weekly in the local library in Ferguslie Park and we do activities such as creative writing, drama and visual art.

“The project has really benefited many of us and helped us by encouraging us to either stay on at school or go to college, some of us have part-time jobs or volunteer for other organisations. I’m proud to be from Paisley and delighted to be able to show others how great it is to live in this town.”

The team was successful in its application to the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund as part of Paisley’s City of Culture bid and will involve them working on a social history project based on the punk movement in Paisley and other subcultures popular in the town and the legacy left today. The end product will be an exhibition of film, photography and a graphic novel.

For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

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MP SAYS PAISLEY CULTURE CITY BID COULD BRING ‘GREAT TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE’

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WESTMINSTER DEBATE TO HIGHLIGHT PAISLEY’S BID FOR PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North Gavin Newlands has said that it would be a ‘great way to create a transformational change‘ for Paisley – if it won the bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.

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Gavin Newlands comments came as he leads a debate at Westminster on Paisley’s bid  for the prestigious award – and on the deserved reputation the town has for its cultural contribution to Scotland and the wider world.

Gavin Newlands MP said:

“I have been a passionate supporter of Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021, and wanted to take the message to a wider audience at Westminster.

“My debate in parliament is an opportunity to promote Paisley and the bid. Securing this title isn’t just about recognising our cultural strengths, it’s also about creating a transformational change for everyone living in the area. Paisley has challenges and being named as the UK City of Culture would give us the tools to tackle these challenges head-on.

‘’We have seen how other bid winners – most noticeably Glasgow in 1990 – benefit and well known Paisley figures like Paolo Nutini and acclaimed artist and playwright John Byrne have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

‘’Paisley well and truly punches above its weight in so many areas of culture ; we have the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in Scotland outside Edinburgh and the famous Paisley pattern is synonymous with the town’s rich history – it would be a real boost if in addition to all the great attractions of my home town – we could secure this bid.’’

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Return of Mòd would bring economic boost

action from the parade when the Mod last came to Paisley in 2013

Paisley could be set for a six-figure economic boost if it can bring Scotland’s primary celebration of Gaelic language and culture back to the town in 2021.

action from the parade when the Mod last came to Paisley in 2013

action from the parade when the Mod last came to Paisley in 2013

Work to on a bid bring The Royal National Mòd back to the town is well advanced, with financial plans being put in place to cover the expected costs.

If the bid is successful, the nine-day festival would become a key part of the proposed programme for Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Members of Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board will next week be asked to set aside a budget of £300,000 to meet event hosting costs, plus £12,500 per year for four years to fund a programme of Gaelic language events locally.

An independent analysis of Paisley previous hosting of the Mòd in 2013 found it attracted more than 8,000 visitors, 38% from outwith the area, and with total visitor spending of £700,000.

The same report found the return on Renfrewshire Council’s investment was six to one, and the economic activity was the equivalent of 33 full-time jobs.

Public meetings have already taken place to create a local organising committee, which – with support by council staff – will submit a bid by June.

Paisley’s Mòd ambitions have been supported by prominent Gaelic musicians Donnie Munro and Skerryvore, who both played the town’s Spree festival this year.

The town has also started to build a Gaelic legacy with an annual festival for under-18s – Fèis Phàislig – running each summer and which this year saw almost 100 young people take part in a week of musical workshops.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We were delighted to bring the Mòd to Paisley for the first time three years ago – and I am sure residents will remember how busy the town was during that week.

“Hosting the Mòd again in 2021 would bring another massive economic boost to the Renfrewshire area.

“If we win UK City of Culture 2021 it would be a key part of the year-long programme of major events that would involve.

“But even if not it will help us maintain the momentum the 2021 bid has already created in terms of establishing Paisley as a key destination on Scotland’s cultural map.

“It would also allow us to create an even stronger Gaelic cultural legacy within Renfrewshire, building on the good work already being done.”

The Leadership Board will consider the plans when it meets on Wednesday 30 November.

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St Mirren FC boss ‘bears’ up to school storytelling session

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St Mirren FC boss –  and children’s author – Tony Fitzpatrick  was in for a storytelling treat along with a class of P3 pupils when he visited St Catherine’s Primary School in Paisley.

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The local football legend was in the Gallowhill school to join a storytelling session of his book Babakoochi Bear – The Promise: Together Again, published last year in memory of his late son Tony.

The session was the first time that the popular St Mirren Director and Chief Executive had heard a story teller narrate the loving tribute he penned to Tony jnr, who died in 1983 aged just six.

Tony sat with the 22 Primary 3 pupils who took it in turns to hear children and families mobile library worker Laurence Doherty tell the adventures of the magical bear – named after father Tony’s nickname for his wee boy.  And all the action took place in Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning Skoobmobile early years outreach bus on one of its regular visits to St Catherine’s.

While one half of the class was captivated by the storytelling, the other half took part in mini focus group sessions by the Council’s Paisley 2021 officials to hear what the children like about Paisley – and what they would like happen if Paisley is awarded the  coveted UK City of Culture title.

Tony spoke about his book and its characters to the youngsters and donated copies to St Catherine’s school and the Skoobmobile.

His visit was a welcome return to St Catherine’s Primary School as his twins – Steven and James, now aged 27 – attended the primary school for a while as nippers.

Tony said: “It was a terrific experience to hear Babakoochi read by a storyteller – it really came over well and was a great moment for me.

“I loved the experience – the kids really took Babakoochi and the other characters to heart. They started to speak about their own losses. One wee girl said she had lost her dog and her gran – it was wonderful to hear them talking about the themes in the book.”

Originally Tony had hoped to bring along his second Babakoochi Bear story: “The Dream: You Can Do This” – due out in a few weeks with the plot based around Babakoochi’s ambition to become a footballer.

This time, says Tony, the theme will be about the importance of self-belief and determination in reaching goals in life.  

Babakoochi is told he’s too small to become a footballer and has to work hard to prove everyone wrong – a theme from Tony’s own young life before he went on to have a glittering football playing career which included captaining St Mirren to the Scottish Cup Final in 1987.

Despite his new book not quite ready to show to the pupils, Tony relished the chance to be with the youngsters.

“It was also really nice to be back in St Catherine’s. I used to pick the boys up from school there.  It was a great day.”

Teresa Brown, Head Teacher of St Catherine’s, said: “Tony’s visit and the Skoobmobile sessions were wonderful opportunities and a great way to inspire the children.

“To welcome an author who has written such a marvellous book and to hear reading brought to the life by the narrator was a fantastic experience for all the children.  

“We’ve already begun reading the book which Tony so kindly gave to the school – and the children are loving it!

“We’re also delighted to have the chance to contribute to the 2021 bid to become UK City of Culture.  St Catherine’s has 14 Active Citizenship groups and one of them is for Paisley 2021 – they’re very involved in doing what we can to promote and support Paisley’s goal of getting the UK title.”

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NEW PAISLEY LITERARY MAGAZINE AIMS TO PUT LOCAL POETRY ON THE MAP

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A new poetry magazine for showcasing poems and poets with a connection to the town of Paisley has been founded by a local creative writer – with the help of Renfrewshire Council funding.

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Paisley Poems is the brainchild of 22-year-old Hannah Wilson, whose own work has been published regularly since she was just 13 after winning a national newspaper-sponsored short story writing competition.  Since then, her work has been accepted for publication in various places, including Paris-based Belleville Park Pages and The James Joyce Quarterly.

She has now been given a £920 grant from Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage, and Events Fund – created to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 by

  • raising ambition
  • getting people involved in  culture
  • unlocking the area’s creative potential
  • building the capacity of the local creative scene.

Hannah said: “Paisley has a rich history of poetry, stretching back to the weaver poets and beyond, but until now there has been no local forum for Paisley’s poetry to be put on the world stage.

“This is a great opportunity for local writers to get some of their work published. Even if you’ve never written any poetry before, I’d encourage anyone to give it a go – we’re looking to get as wide a range of writers involved as possible.

“The City of Culture bid has already done a huge amount for the town – I think it’s great that the Council is supporting projects in all areas of the arts.”

Hannah is aiming for Paisley Poems to follow a minimalist model based on magazines in Europe such as Belleville Park Pages – which publishes poetry, fiction and short essays by contemporary writers – and the Dublin-based online literary journal, Bohemyth.

The magazine – which will be sold both online and in local shops – is now looking for budding poets to submit their work from Monday 21 November until 31 January.

The best poems will then be featured in the magazine’s first edition, scheduled for publication in spring 2017.  Full details and submission guidelines can be found at www.paisleypoems.scot.

Jean Cameron, Project Director for Paisley 2021, said: “Building on the history of our weaver poets, recent interest in poetry within Paisley has been highlighted by the popular Poetry Slam which featured as part of the Sma’ Shot Day Celebrations for the past two years.

“I’m delighted that the Council is supporting Hannah and Paisley Poems to provide a local platform for new and emerging writers as it is a novel way to reflect Paisley’s wonderful heritage.”

 

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Europe’s top curlers arrive in Renfrewshire

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The cream of European curling will descend on Renfrewshire this weekend as the European Curling Championships take place at Braehead Arena.

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The event takes place from 19-26 November and will see 26 nations take part in both men’s and women’s competitions- with the top 8 from each qualifying for the 2017 World Championships in Canada.

While the action takes place inside the Arena, there will also be a specially constructed ‘Fan Zone’ in the shopping centre for visitors and supporters to be a part of for the duration of the championships.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall will host a civic reception on Friday night at Paisley Town Hall for athletes, officials and sponsors to welcome them to the area which is recognised as the birthplace of the sport.

The first ever formal record of the existence of curling details a challenge between a monk and a relative of the Abbott throwing stones across the ice outside Paisley Abbey in 1541.

Local youth theatre group PACE will put on a short performance re-enacting the challenge and attendees will also have the chance to visit the historic Abbey as part of the evening’s event.

The championships form part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and follow on from last weekend’s Christmas Lights Switch-On which saw around 30,000 people turn out in the town centre.

Provost Hall said: “It’s a fantastic honour to host this prestigious competition and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to welcome everyone involved to Renfrewshire.

“With Paisley’s history as the birthplace of curling, it is fitting that the top players have the chance to perform here and I’m sure the competition will be of the highest calibre.

“As part of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture, we have shown that we have the capability of hosting large-scale events in the area and these championships will be yet further proof of our ability to do so.

“It promises to be a great event for all the family so grab your tickets now and come along.”

Tickets are still available for the event via: http://www.worldcurling.org/ecc2016/tickets

For more information on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, and to press the ‘Back the Bid’ button, visit www.Paisley2021.co.uk

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Good Old Paisley..A Town We Can be Proud of..!

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St Andrew’s Day Film Premieres!

Wed Nov 30th from 6 til 7.30pm at Paisley Museum

To mark St Andrews Day, a night of films that celebrate Paisley!  The main attraction will be the premiere of Paul Mothersole’s new film My Paisley.  The film is a heartwarming story of a schoolgirl’s discovery of the story of her hometown. It is accompanied by premiere’s of We Wore it Well by the Paisley Camcorder Club and Lochwinnoch ‘s Gillian Steel, a film about local fashion…as well as Family Album by  Claire McGinley.  The evening opens with the premiere of Dan Cattigan- Paisley’s Film Man – the story of the fun loving projectionist at Paisley’s La Scala cinema.  There is also a rare chance to see new and previously unseen footage as well as  Threadbare by Jack Wardrop and Falconer Houston’s 1960’s film Tannahill as a live 16mm projection..!

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All the films have been locally produced and show that Paisley’s film culture is ready for 2021!

Free tickets available from Paisley Museum front desk during opening hours

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Paolo Nutini backs Paisley 2021 culture bid at massive event

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Paisley’s musical megastar Paolo Nutini has thrown his weight behind his home town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

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The singer today declared his support during a surprise video message broadcast to a delighted crowd of 30,000 at the town’s Christmas Light Switch-on event, which coincided with the first anniversary of the bid launch.

Paolo – who was brought up in Paisley and still has a home there – told the crowd of his pride in the town and why he was backing Paisley’s culture ambitions.

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He said: “I’m backing the bid because Paisley is and always has been my home. I love the town and want to see it grow.

“It’s a town that needs the investment, but it knows what it’s going to do with that investment and I think the potential is really clear.

“I see the romance of the town – when you walk into the centre it’s got a beautiful composition.

“The bid is about building a structure that can tackle the more deep-rooted problems and it’s important we get behind that.

“There’s already a new lease of life being brought into the town…I’m backing the bid so please go on the website, push the button, and do the same.”

The annual Christmas Lights event included a special Paisley-themed projection on to the side of Paisley’s 850-year-old Abbey asking residents to back the bid.

The main stage in the town centre was headlined by triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls, who were joined by up-and-coming Paisley bands the Vegan Leather and Dogtooth, as well as kids favourites Funbox.

Other activities during the afternoon-long event include a reindeer parade, outdoor snow slope and funfair.

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Council and the lights were switched on by Provost Anne Hall, joined by young competition winner Phoebe of Williamsburgh Primary.

The bid is being taken forward by a partnership of local organisations, many of whom were showing their support during the day on social media using #WeArePaisley.

Residents and visitors alike were also invited to back the bid by pushing a specially-created button on the paisley2021.co.uk website.

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The Renfrewshire town is bidding for the national title as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural heritage and thriving contemporary creative scene to create long-lasting economic, social and cultural change.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, said: “Today’s event was all about people of the town having the chance to say We Are Paisley.

“So we are delighted that Paolo – as one of the town’s best-known cultural figures – was able to tell the crowd in his own words why he is backing the bid.

“The Christmas Lights Switch-on always brings tens of thousands of people into the town anyway, and given the anniversary fell on the same weekend there was no better chance for a mass show of support for Paisley 2021.

“The UK City of Culture title goes to a town which can show the UK Government judges that it has a plan to use the title to make a real difference to the area and the people who love there.

“Today we sent a message that not only does Paisley want the title, but it has the capacity to pull off the big events it will involve.”

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Paisley 2021 bid to be marked at Xmas extravaganza

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Paisley is gearing up for a double celebration at the weekend – when the first birthday of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture falls as tens of thousands descend for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

crowd shot from the 2014 Christmas Lights Switch-on

crowd shot from the 2014 Christmas Lights Switch-on

The Paisley 2021 bid was officially launched a year ago and will be a key feature throughout a day of free-to-attend festive family fun in the town centre, this year headlined by triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls.

Scouting for Girls

Scouting for Girls

The Christmas lights are due to be switched on shortly after 6pm – and this year will be immediately preceded by a spectacular Paisley-themed 3D light show projected on to the Gauze St side of Paisley Abbey.

The not-to-be-missed projections will show off the past year’s activity on the bid, while asking residents and visitors to back Paisley’s ambitions before the bid is lodged next spring.

The Christmas extravaganza gets under way at noon with the annual reindeer parade, featuring Santa himself and sponsored by the Paisley Centre.

The parade will last around an hour and follows a new route, starting and finishing on the High Street and covering St Mirren Street, Orchard Street and Abbey Close.

Capital FM DJs including Des Clarke will then get the party started on the main stage in Gauze Street from 1pm.

That will see shows by kids’ favourites Funbox (1.30pm) and up-and-coming Paisley bands Dogtooth (2.30pm) and the Vegan Leather (4pm) before Scouting for Girls take to the stage at 5.25pm after a special Christmas singalong for the crowd,

Other activities include a snow beach and toboggan slide in Dunn Square, craft market and Accord Hospice tea room in Paisley Town Hall and funfair in County Square.

The cost of the performers is being partly met by sponsors intu Braehead, the Paisley Centre, Invest in Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

The event is organised by Renfrewshire Council, and council leader Mark Macmillan said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-on always attracts a massive crowd into the town centre – but the Paisley 2021 element will make this one extra special.

“With that in mind, it is great to see two local acts who are making a name for themselves get to play before thousands on the main stage – the area has a thriving grassroots musical scene and we want to show that off.

“And the Paisley-themed 3D light show on the side of the Abbey will be a perfect way to round off the first year of the bid.

“UK City of Culture tends to go to a place which can show it needs and wants the bid and has clear plan to use the title to transform its fortunes – which Paisley does.

“A mass show of support on Saturday would help show the judges how serious we are, while letting everybody see Paisley knows how to throw a party!”

Residents and visitors should be aware there will be road closures throughout the town centre on Saturday which will impact on bus routes. See www.mcgillsbuses.co.uk for more info.

Parking is free in all council-metered bays and car parks every weekend and there will also be free event parking at West College Scotland, Castlehead High and Paisley Grammar.

More information on the day is available at www.paisley2021.co.uk