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Record numbers for Paisley 10k and Fun Run

A RECORD number of people took part in yesterday’s Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run. (Sunday, August 20).

There was a 25 per cent increase in runners compared to last year, with 3598 taking part in the two events – organised by Renfrewshire Leisure – compared to 2871 in 2016.

From serious athletes to fun runners in fancy dress, they came to pound the streets of Paisley.

Both events were sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon and 2156 people took part in the 10k Race and 1442 in the Fun Run.

And for the third year the official charity partner was Macmillan Cancer Support.

Many of the fun runners were also sponsored to raise much-needed funds for local charities, clubs and good causes with several entire football teams of youngsters taking part.

This year’s Paisley 10k race had £1200 of prize money and trophies were presented to fun runners, with prizes for the first three boys and girls from primary and secondary schools over the finishing line.

The Paisley 10k Race men’s winner was Alasdair Campbell, from Cambuslang Harriers with a time of 32 minutes.15 seconds. Second place in the men’s race went to Tewodle Mengisteab, frm Shettleston Harriers, with a time of 32.17 and third was John Bell, from Inverclyde AC with a time of 32.26.

The women’s 10k Race winner was Gemma Rankin, from Kilbarchan, AAC, with a time of 35 minutes 11 seconds. Second was Elspeth Curran, from Kilbarchan AAC, with a time of 35.57 and third was Claire Moffat, from Falkirk Victoria Harriers, with a time of 36.49.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We’ve had a fantastic turnout for today’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

“And much of the reason for that is the effect of the Paisley City of Culture 2021 campaign, which is putting Paisley on the map.
“People from near and far are hearing about the town and all the positive things that are happening here.
“It’s great to see the Fun Run numbers are increasing and so many children and young people taking part. They are the future competitors in the 10k race.
“Preparing for and taking part in these events is a boost to both people’s physical and mental health.
“It’s well known that the social side of running is good for people’s mental health as well as the physical.”

Joyce added: “Sport plays a major part in the culture of Paisley, Renfrewshire and the rest of Scotland and hopefully when Paisley wins City of Culture status, we can grow this event and have even more competitors coming from all over the country.”

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Big run on entries to Paisley 10k race

A RECORD number of entrants will take part in this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

last year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run

With just over a week to go until the popular event is held on Sunday, August 20, organisers Renfrewshire Leisure report that 2,944 people have already signed up to take part. There are 1869 racing in the 10k and 1075 taking part in the Fun Run.

At the same point last year, 2373 had signed up for the event, with 1596 for the 10k and 777 for the Fun Run.
And organisers are confident by the time race day comes along, there will well over 3000 people pounding the streets of Paisley town centre as there is still time to enter.

The Paisley 10k and Fun Run, which sets off shortly afterwards, is sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon and for the third year the official charity partner is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Many of the fun runners are being sponsored to raise much-needed funds for local charities, clubs and good causes with several entire football teams of youngsters taking part.

This year’s Paisley 10k race has £1200 of prize money and trophies up for grabs and for the fun runners, there are prizes for the first three boys and girls from primary and secondary schools over the finishing line.

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

The deadline for signing up is noon on Friday, August 18.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “If you’ll pardon the pun, we’ve had a fantastic run of entries to this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run!

“The 10k has grown to become a popular race in the calendar of events for the more serious runners and more and more people are staying fit and healthy by training for the Fun Run.

“Even if people aren’t taking part – and there’s still time to enter – I’d encourage everyone to come down and support their families and friends who are running.

“It’s an exciting day out for everyone and as well as the races, there will be lots going on in the town for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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Exam results boost for Renfrewshire’s young people

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Renfrewshire’s young people have once again achieved high levels of attainment, as early indications of exam results suggest.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

S6 pupils achieving Advanced Highers has risen by six per cent, which is the highest level achieved by young people in Renfrewshire.

S4 and S5 pupils also maintained the strong performance earned last year, matching the best results ever achieved for these year groups, with the percentage of S4 pupils achieving seven awards at National 5 and S5 pupils achieving three or more Highers even surpassing those of previous years.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Renfrewshire’s young people have done an amazing job achieving great results and I would like to congratulate them all.

“The support given to young people to reach their full potential is vital, and this is achieved through our teachers, our support staff and parents. I would like to thank everyone for the hard work they have put in together that has helped our young people flourish.

“The results in Renfrewshire are encouraging but we want to do more to help children and young people reach their full potential, regardless of their background, into positive destinations. We know that exam results are only one way to measure success and there are a number of wider achievements young people also gain from school.”

Renfrewshire Council will be looking at the results in more detail, with particular focus on literacy and numeracy, attainment for our most vulnerable young people and schools’ performance against similar-sized schools from across the country. A more accurate picture of young people’s success is expected in the next few months.

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Exam Results Day – SDS Helpline Open from Tuesday

Renfrewshire students will receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher exam results on Tuesday (8th August).

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay is highlighting help and advice available to students and parents on results day.

Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) annual Exam Results Helpline will be open from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th August, and then from 9am until 5pm up until the 16th August. The number is 0808 100 8000.

This is the 25th year of the free Helpline which offers advice, information and support for young people and their parents, who make a third of all calls.

Qualified Careers Advisers are on hand to help young people who may not have received the results they were hoping for and those who have done better than anticipated. These skilled professionals have unique access to information on UCAS course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, confirmation and clearing, advice about Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships and employment or volunteering.

Post-results information for students and parents is also available at myworldofwork.co.uk. There’s also information about Modern Apprenticeships and Foundation Apprenticeships, at apprenticeships.scot. Foundation Apprenticeships help young people gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while they are still at school.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“Exam results day can be a daunting and nerve-wracking time, and I think it is important that all students who are receiving results are supported with advice and guidance.

“If you get the results you are looking for, then that is obviously fantastic. However, if students do not get what they need this time round, then be assured that there are a huge number of options available and there is support and advice available to help you get where you want to be.

“Whatever the outcome, these results will be a beginning, rather than an end point.

“Skills Development Scotland are on hand to offer support and advice to students and parents on the next chapter.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all students the very best of luck.”

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Piping competition drums up another successful event for Paisley

Paisley town centre was filled with the sound of pipes and drums on Saturday (22 July) for the eighth annual Pipe Band Competition.

Grade 1 1st Johnstone

Crowds lined High Street and County Square to watch pipers and drummers from across Scotland compete to be named champions.

The successful event is part of the exciting and expanding calendar of cultural events across Renfrewshire taking place as part of Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021 with the town last week being named as the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the prestigious title.

Each band marched from High Street to the final tuning area at the Cenotaph before making their way to the main arena in County Square. They then performed to a panel of judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association who organise the event each year.

The standard of competition was extremely high, with Johnstone Pipe Band performing particularly well in their categories and Dumbarton and District securing the novice award.

The winning bands were presented with their trophies by chieftain of the event, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron. She said: “The Paisley Pipe Band Competition is an event that many people across Scotland look forward to each year and I was very proud to be able to present the bands with their recognition for a great day’s entertainment.

“Paisley demonstrated once again that it can put on successful events providing a great setting for the pipers, drummers and large crowds who came to experience the sounds and spectacle of Saturday’s competition. There was even more reason to celebrate as the event was the first one held in the town since the announcement was made that Paisley had made it through to the next stage in its bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.”

Saturday also marked the 30th anniversary of the Paisley Arts Centre. To celebrate this important milestone Renfrewshire Leisure organised for a Family Fun Day to take place where children and parents could enjoy a range of activities including watching a puppet theatre, performances from PACE and participating in craft workshops.

The Paisley 2021 bid has made it through to the second and final stage of the competition and is the sole Scottish town or city featured in the shortlist. The bid aims to transform the town and Renfrewshire’s future by using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Final bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in in September 2017 with a final decision expected in December.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

For more information on the winners please visit the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association website at www.rspba.org.

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Drop-in summer social clubs offer fun for Renfrewshire’s young people

Young people aged 10 – 18 years old looking for summer activities can drop into free youth social clubs during the school holiday period.

young people at Positive About Youth awards 2016 (credit to Erskine Music and Media Studios)

The summer sessions are provided by Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team to support young people looking to make new friends, meet up with existing friends and have fun together.

The drop-in sessions will offer a range of activities, including arts and crafts, gaming, trips, photography, digital art and film making, will be held on:

-Every Tuesday and Thursday, 1.30-3.30pm and 6.30-8.30pm (ages 10-16) at Foxbar Youth Learning Centre

-Every Tuesday, 6.30-8.30pm (junior ages) and Thursday 6.30-8.30pm (senior ages) at the GoZone, Glenburn

-Every Wednesday, 3.30-5.30pm (P6 and P7) or 6-8.30pm (S1+) at Bargarran Community Centre

-Wednesday 19 July, 1.30-3.30pm (P6, P7 and S1) at Glasgow Nepalese Association Hall, Gallowhill

-Thursday 20 and 27 July, 2-4pm (P6 and P7) or 5-7pm (ages 12-18) at the Tannahill Centre, Ferguslie

Young people will also be able to have their say on what’s important to them in their community by taking part in the youth services survey as well as finding out information, such as how to get a Young Scot card, joining a Youth Voice group or the new LGBT group, volunteering in the area or working towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.

Those interested in outdoor activities can learn how to build a shelter, make a campfire, using hammocks and swings as well as survival skills by signing up to a free bush craft skill sessions for 11-18 year olds.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “It is important that young people feel that they can have access to summer activities that suit them and help them feel part of the community.

“The summer drop-in sessions and clubs are a great way for young people to get to know each other outside of school and for them to have their say on what services they want and need from the youth services team.”

To find out more, visit young.scot/renfrewshire, email youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk or like /YoungRenfrewshire on Facebook.

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Local MP Gavin Newlands attends Carers Week event

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, attended a Carers Week speed networking event with carers and charities in Westminster, pledging his continued support to unpaid carers locally.

The event was in support of the recent Carers Week, to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the 6.5 million people across the UK who currently provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend. It matched up MPs and carers to share experiences of caring and discuss ways to build Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.

Gavin Newlands  MP committed to:

  • meeting with carers locally and local services to find out about the challenges faced by carers
  • encouraging organisations, services and employers in his to become more Carer Friendly
  • raising the profile of caring and speaking up for carers in Parliament
  • raising awareness of Carer Friendly Communities in Renfrewshire

Mr Newlands already hosts a carers-specific surgery every month in the Carers Centre in Paisley, allowing him to assist carers with a wide range of matters.

Local MP, Gavin Newlands said:

“I was proud to represent my constituents at the Carers Week event and I pledge to continue to support the 12,529 carers in my constituency throughout this Parliament.  Unpaid carers make a huge contribution to our society, providing vital and often hidden support to friends and family members, and it is right that we value them and ensure they have the right support at the right time. I look forward to working with the Carers Week charities, and, with unpaid carers, locally, to make a difference to their lives.

“Since my initial election in 2015, I have strived to ensure that the voices of carers are heard in the UK Parliament. However, I’ve also worked hard to champion their causes in the local community, this is particularly important as that’s where they come across the most bureaucracy.

“I will continue to run my carers-specific surgery every month and pledge to continue to work for and with carers to champion the issues that are important to them.”

Carers Week 2017 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and the Lockwood Foundation.

For further information visit www.carersweek.org

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Renfrew tenants first to benefit from £50 million affordable housing boost

LOCAL families have moved into the first homes built in Sanctuary’s planned £50 million investment in new affordable housing stock in Renfrewshire.

Derek Mackay Cabinet Secretary for Finance SNP on Edgar Crescent and Peter Martin, Sanctuary’s Group director with new Ashleigh apprentices


Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association recently handed over the keys to 29 houses for social rent in Andrew Avenue and Edgar Crescent, Renfrew. The last of 77 homes being built in the £10.6 million first phase are due for completion in October.

Derek Mackay Cabinet Secretary for Finance SNP with Christine Pert who moved into Edgar Crescent with daughter Daisy,11, and son Rory, 9

Christine Pert moved into Edgar Crescent with daughter Daisy,11, and son Rory, 9, having lived in Renfrew for nine years.

Christine, 50, said:

“The house is fabulous.

“People who visit can’t believe how big the rooms are or how high the spec is. Our neighbours are very friendly and the area’s becoming a proper wee community.

“It’s lovely. We are very happy.”

Sanctuary’s building programme is in partnership with the Scottish Government and Renfrewshire Council. A £6.1 million government grant helped fund the development.

Ten apprentices employed by Sanctuary’s site contractor Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd are helping build 59 houses and 18 flats, all for social rent. The project created three local trades jobs, one new apprenticeship and hosted the work placement of seven Glasgow Clyde College students.

A further 60 Sanctuary homes for social rent will soon be built on the site neighbouring Edgar Crescent, off Renfrew’s Station Road.

Elsewhere, 67 Sanctuary homes in Renfrew’s Western Park are due to be finished next spring. Planning has also been approved for 171 affordable Sanctuary homes in Love Street and Wellmeadow Street, Paisley.

Peter Martin, Sanctuary’s Group director – development, said:

“We are proud to work in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government to provide much-needed affordable housing in Renfrew.

“These new homes, the first of 204 Sanctuary has planned for Renfrew, have been well received by our new residents.

“This project has supported apprenticeships and other work and training opportunities over and above the creation of high quality social housing.

“None of this would have been possible without Renfrewshire Council’s and the Scottish Government’s support.”

Renfrewshire North and West MSP Derek Mackay spoke with tenants and met Ashleigh’s apprentices during a visit to the site.

Mr Mackay, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, said:

“I am delighted to see the first people move into these new homes, especially as the homes are of such a high quality and in a great location in Renfrew.

“There weren’t many new affordable homes built in Renfrew for decades, but over the last few years we have seen the transformation of the affordable housing-building sector and sites being developed. It is wonderful to see the result of our investment.

“Over the next three years Renfrewshire will receive an additional £46 million of funding, helping to build even more much-needed homes in the area, as well as provide certainty to the sector and securing jobs and apprenticeships.

“And with Right to Buy being abolished in Scotland people can be assured that houses are here for social need for the foreseeable future, helping to make progress towards our aim of ensuring that everyone has a high quality, efficient, affordable home.”

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Thousands descend on Paisley town centre for first-ever Weave festival

Thousands of people descended on Paisley town centre at the weekend for the first-ever Weave festival, celebrating the town’s radical history and heritage.
The bumper weekend was taking place alongside the annual Sma’ Shot celebrations – one of the world’s oldest workers festivals – and saw a diverse range of cultural performances and events, with more than 40 shows across six venues and four outdoor live zones.

Burning of the Cork

Weave is inspired by the town’s globally-significant heritage of weaving and radical politics and took place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
The weekend festival was one of Visit Scotland’s signature events in Scotland’s 2017 Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology celebrations.
More than 350 costumed performers, artists, community groups and families took part in the Sma’ Shot parade, led by the Charleston Drum – the traditional way of calling out the weavers for the annual festival.
This year’s parade explored the theme of ‘the threads that bind us’, empowering participants and audiences alike to celebrate what brings us together and offers a sense of belonging.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, attended the event to meet some of the performers and experience some of the activities taking place.
She said: “As one of the signature events for the country’s 2017 Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, Paisley’s Weave festival celebrates the town’s weaving heritage via a programme of live music, design, art, poetry, dance and street theatre, set against the historic town centre.
“I was delighted to meet performers and participants and hear first-hand the story of the weavers’ rebellion, the iconic Paisley Pattern and its legacy for modern-day makers and artists.
“This family-friendly event promotes Paisley’s rich weaving heritage and the stories around this heritage that are still alive in the community today. Sharing these stories is a central aim of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology as we shine a spotlight on Scotland’s rich and vibrant attributes in relation to its historic environment and past, to the people of Scotland and our visitors.”
Sma’ Shot Day began after a dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. The sma’ shot was a fine weft yarn, woven into Paisley shawls by the weavers, which they were not paid for. An agreement was finally reached to pay for the sma’ shot in 1856.
Councillor Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Weave festival celebrates Paisley’s great heritage that helped make the town an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse known the world over.
“Events like this help attract visitors to the town which not only supports the local economy but allows us to continue to share Paisley’s unique story.”
Some of the highlights from the weekend included:
– the premiere of Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi’s new show Mass Movement, influenced by her personal journey as a refugee rebuilding her life in Scotland;
– an outdoor family ceilidh, mass drum-off, and four live music stages, hosted by Capital Radio DJ Gary Spence and by Celtic Music radio and local promoters LNP, located at Abbey Close, Gilmour Street, Paisley Arts Centre and Brown’s Lane;
– weaving demonstrations with visual art curator and weaver Dan Coughlan at Sma’ Shot Cottages;
– the Dooslan Stane stage, hosted the union speeches, re-enactments and poetry / spoken word or ‘speakers corner’ activities;
– the ‘storytelling yurt’ at Abbey Close enabled people to find out more about the Sma’ Shot story and Paisley’s weaving heritage from professional storytellers;
– a poetry slam, storytelling sessions, and a series of talks, tours, workshops and demonstrations from local artists and designers, including traditional Paisley shawl weaving;
– PaisleyMake Makers’ Market at Paisley Abbey showcased a variety of exceptional and innovative Scottish designers and makers featuring everything from clothing and jewellery to interior design;
– Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) in collaboration with L’n’P Promotions and Sma’ Shot Weave Festival hosted an evening of live music featuring; Rachel Sermanni (full band), The Great Albatross and Mark McGowan.
Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Weave festival has been a great success, showcasing the creative talent Paisley has to offer alongside the best established artists and performers in their field.
“The Sma’ Shot parade is a firm favourite in the calendar each year and it was great to see so many local community groups take part and entertain the crowds.
“Nurturing and growing our local talent is a key part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and we are starting to see this ambition become a reality.”
For more information on Paisley 2021, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.
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Paisley’s bid to bring Mod back to town in 2021 is lodged

A bid to bring the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic language and culture back to Paisley has been lodged – for what would be one of the centrepieces of the town’s potential UK City of Culture 2021 year.

Gordon Maclennan, Provost Lorraine Cameron, Mark Johnstone (Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore), Josh Esson (Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band), Martin Gillespie (Skerryvore).

Paisley is bidding for the Royal National Mòd in four years time – with the town’s one previous staging of the event in 2013 being the second-largest in the event’s history.

Renfrewshire Council has already ring-fenced a budget of £185,000 plus substantial extra in-kind support to cover hosting costs – with the event expected to bring thousands of visitors and a seven-figure economic boost to the area.

Bid bosses believe Paisley’s central location, excellent transport links, unique venues and established major event track record will add up to another successful Mòd. If the town was named UK City of Culture 2021, the Mòd would be key to that year’s programme of events.

Paisley’s Mòd 2021 bid will be handed in at the Inverness offices of event organisers An Comunn Gaidhealach on Friday by the chair of the local organising committee, Gordon MacLennan.

Gordon – also the chief executive of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport – was joined at Paisley Gilmour Street station to see the bid off by vice-chair, Provost Lorraine Cameron, members of the Renfrewshire schools pipe band, and some of top trad band Skerryvore, who are backing Paisley’s Mòd bid.

He said: “We would be absolutely thrilled if An Comun were to bring the Mòd back to Paisley in 2021, and believe we have put together a very strong bid.

“The last – and only – Mòd held here in 2013 attracted 8,000 people over nine days and delivered a £1.4m economic impact, and Paisley was very well received as a location by visitors from across Scotland.

“Aside from our unique venues, such as Paisley Town Hall and Abbey, our transport links are second-to-none – with an international airport on our doorstep, easy access to the motorway, and Paisley Gilmour Street station being Scotland’s fourth-busiest, handling five million passengers a year and a train to Glasgow every eight minutes.”

Provost Cameron added: “Renfrewshire is committed to the development of the Gaelic language, with a five-figure annual investment in arts programming, Gaelic language plan, and more than 1,500 local people with Gaelic language skills.

“We have also invested in the next generation, with our annual Fèis Phàislig music festival having seen around 700 local young people engaged in Gaelic and traditional music, with musicians visiting 27 local primary schools this year alone.

“The area also has a strong record of supporting traditional music, with many trad acts featuring on the bill for our annual Spree festival in October, and the MG Alba Scottish Trad Awards coming to Paisley for the first time this December.

“We want to build on that by hosting another successful Mòd whether we win the Uk City of Culture title or not.”

Martin Gillespie – a founder member of Skerryvore, in Paisley last year as a Spree headliner – added: “I have a long association with the Mòd – myself and my brother competed in several when we were young – so it’s an event that means a lot to me.

“It’s good to see such a strong bid coming from a place in the central belt as that would help open up the event to new audiences.

“We played Paisley Town Hall last year – it would make a great main venue for Mòd competition and there’s no doubt the town would be a good host.”

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using heritage, culture and events and the Uk Government is expected to announce the shortlist for the next stage of the competition over the summer.

For more information, visit  paisley2021.co.uk