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Code Red Safety Solutions helps Paisley 2021 with Spectrum Lion

spectrum

Paisley’s leading fire safety instruction company Code Red Safety Solutions has temporarily donated the lion they won the bidding war that was the pride of Paisley ceremony at the Normandy hotel last year with all money going to charity.

spectrum

James McMahon from Code Red Safety Solutions dropped off the lion Spectrum at the Paisley 2021 HQ on the high street today and will allow the lion to be displayed in Paisley Town Hall when the judges from DCMS for the Bid for City of Culture come to town sometime before Decembers big deadline.

The Pride of Paisley was a fantastic success from Paisley First last year in town and people can visit Spectrum in the Bid HQ for now and then in the Town Hall. You can learn more about Code Red by visiting their website www.coderedsafetysolutions.co.uk who are always helping groups in Paisley and are keen for Paisley to win City of Culture

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Paisley firm Mac Asphalt rolls into action to show support for the town’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid

Paisley firm Mac Asphalt is rolling into action to show its support for the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The family business run by father and son team Thomas and Jamie Crumlish is following in the footsteps of firms including Glasgow International Airport and intu Braehead, as well Coats Group PLC, the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer, which started life in the town.

Along with fellow supporters Paisley First, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Gordon Leslie Group, Chivas Brothers, the Scottish Leather Group, Morrison Construction, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Diageo, they have all pledged funding if the bid is successful.

Paisley lodged its final second stage bid with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport on September 29. The town is bidding for the title as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

Managing Director Jamie says that the firm’s own strong Paisley roots means they want to give something back.

Mac Asphalt has been operating out of its Wallneuk Street for more than two decades and has 78 employees, with a turnover of £12m.

The highway maintenance and civil engineering firm’s fleet includes rollers, pavers, mechanical road sweepers, and tippers.

Jamie, 38, said: “We’re a Renfrewshire company who employ Renfrewshire people and it’s important for the town to do well.

“We do a lot of work in Paisley and it supplies quite a bit of our revenue. We are a Paisley family and I grew up and still live here.

“I think it’s important for us to give something back and we wanted to be part of the bid.

“I think the UK City of Culture bid is excellent and it’s long overdue. You can see the effort that’s gone into all the events to showcase what Paisley has in terms of architecture and culture.”

Jamie believes that winning the title could help transform the fortunes of the area and said: “The last big thing I can remember is  the celebrations to mark Paisley’s 500th anniversary in 1988.

“I was a kid at school you got a special pencil set to mark it.

“That’s the nearest thing to the UK City of Culture bid I’ve seen in 30 odd years. I think the kids who are at school now will be excited about what’s going on and what’s to come.

“I think it’s important for the local economy because we are an area with a lot of deprivation.

“We’ve got all this infrastructure around us in terms of the airport and really impressive buildings. It’s a great wee town but I think maybe we’ve just not asked for help before.”

The firm has already previously shown its commitment to giving something back when it bought no less than six of the Paisley First lions at a fundraising event.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We’ve had incredible backing from the community and from local businesses and we’re thrilled to add Mac Asphalt to the list.

“A winning bid would bring vast economic and cultural benefits not just throughout Paisley and Renfrewshire, but nationwide.”

You can see the Paisley 2021 business wall and find out more about the bid at paisley2021.co.uk.

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Danny Kyle open stage launches at the Spree Festival

While he was alive, the late Paisley music legend Danny Kyle was a great champion of new talent.

His memory and influence lives on with the Danny Kyle Open Stage at this year’s Spree festival, which offers up and coming musicians the chance to shine.

The free event at the Spiegeltent throughout the 12 day Paisley extravaganza will be broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio 95FM on Liz Clark’s show ‘Travels with my Auntie Liz.’

The top three acts from a total of 15 will compete in a final showcase on Sunday 22nd, with the successful acts offered opportunities including a supporting live stage slot with a more established act and studio time.

Acts taking part this year include Fallen Arches, Rebekah Kirk, The Connections, Bobby Dreams and Lisa Kowalski.

Liz Clark, who was a close friend of Danny’s before his death in 1998, said competition was fierce to perform on the stage, first made famous at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival.

She said: “The acts all get a twenty minute slot to strut their stuff. To get on stage people have to be out there gigging and trying to get their foot on the ladder.

“Danny always encouraged people and believed in everyone being given a chance, When he was alive he used to recommend up and coming acts to folk clubs festivals.

“It’s a free event and is always great fun.”

Danny’s son Rikki Kyle says his dad would be delighted with the legacy he left.

He said: “He used to run a ‘Giez a Break’ club at festivals to give new acts a leg up and it’s something he was very proud of. He would love the fact that the open stage is still doing that in his name in his home town. It’s a great legacy to leave.”

The first event runs from 5-6pm on Saturday 14th, followed by Monday 16th-Wedenesday 18th with the final showcase on Sunday 22nd.

Some of the acts will also take part in The Spree for All Festival Club at The Old Swan in Paisley town centre. The open stage event there will run for the duration of the festival and will feature solo acts, jamming sessions and poetry readings with details found daily on the venue’s Facebook page.

Paisley’s national festival runs from Friday 13th October until and takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021

This year’s event features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini.

Other acts on the bill include indie rockers Frightened Rabbit, and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean .

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Gavin Newlands MP highlights the positive effect of arts and good health

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has praised Paisley’s cultural contribution to the country, highlighting the positive effect that the arts can have on improving health outcomes.

During a debate the Westminster on the effects that the arts can have on a person’s health, Mr Newlands spoke about the emphasis that the Paisley 2021 bid is placing on the role that culture can play in helping to regenerate parts of the town.

 

The Member of Paisley and Renfrewshire North spoke about a number of Paisley-based projects which specialise in using the health to combat a range of health problems, including loneliness, poor mental health and old age.

 

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

 

“The role of the arts and culture in our society is extremely important and wide ranging, including helping to combat longstanding health inequalities. Existing evidence confirms that the arts can combat a range of health problems, including mental health and loneliness.

 

“I was therefore delighted to take part in this debate, stressing the positive relationship between the arts and good health and being able to highlight the range of Renfrewshire-based organisations who use culture to help produce positive health outcomes.

 

“Paisley is leading in this field and our bid to be named as the UK’s City of Culture is built on the belief that the arts can play a fundamental role in help to transform our town. From the Scottish Mental Health Festival, which will take place in the town next week, to projects like Buddy Beat and the Star Project – it’s clear that Renfrewshire is forward thinking in using culture to promote good health.“

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Hat-trick of wins for Kilbarchan AAC in annual sports awards

COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

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Paisley Artists Unique Front Cover Designs for UK City of Culture bid

As part of Paisley’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid, artists, designers and groups with links to the town were invited to create unique front covers for the blueprint for a winning year of culture.

The bespoke designs were seen as a way of showcasing the town’s unique heritage and range of creative talent.

Now the inspiration behind the document covers, which were submitted to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in London who organised the competition just days ago, can be revealed.

Bound with thread donated from the textiles giants Coats Group plc, with whose fortunes the town was intertwined, local creatives presented their own vision of what Paisley means to them.

Three of the 25 works were crafted by inmates of HMP Lowmoss in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, after the learning centre there year themed this year’s work on Paisley.

Another cover called ‘Horns’ was created by Paisley based artist Dominika Zurawska, who counts Madonna and Paloma Faith among her fans.

Others have a more personal take, like stroke victim Brian Denholm’s cover. He painted musical hero and Paisley star Gerry Rafferty after finding solace in art at a local support group.

He said: “It’s a great feeling to know my picture is on front of one of the bids. The covers all look amazing.”

Lettering designer and sign painter Rachael Miller’s chance observation of an ancient sign led to her discovering her own Paisley heritage and inspired her 2021 design.

Rachel, 24, said: “My gran lives in Paisley and one day we were driving and I spotted a faded sign.

“She told me my great, great grandpa used to work there from 1886 until the Great War

“So the ancient sign was the inspiration for my cover.”

Others who produced covers include the Disability Resource Centre, local jewellery design duo Paisley Pins, student and poet Ryan Goodwin and weaver Dr Dan Coughlan.

The bid itself is printed on 100% cotton and within each page is a print from an original Paisley pattern at Paisley Museum.

The label on the front also reflects the town’s proud textiles heritage as it was woven by a jacquard loom.

Paisley is the only area north of the border shortlisted for the culture award and it’s entry has become known as  ‘Scotland’s bid’, with a decision expected in December.

The other places on the shortlist are Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Our bespoke front covers are a wonderful way of shining a spotlight on what a diverse range of creative talent we have in Paisley.

“It was fantastic to see people from a variety of groups and backgrounds produce such fabulous art works and I’d like to thank everyone involved.

“The front covers are also a great reminder of our unique cultural heritage and what we could achieve with a winning bid.”

It’s forecast that winning the 2021 culture title will create the equivalent of 4700 jobs over the next decade and boost the economy by £175m, leaving a lasting legacy for all of Renfrewshire.

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Paisley’s spooktacular Halloween Festival Returns

Paisley will be hauntingly transformed to celebrate its third annual Halloween Festival offering plenty of fun and frights for all.

The two-day festival, which is taking place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October and is part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, is a unique and popular event in the town’s calendar with lots of fun activities planned throughout the town offering something for families as well as those looking for a good night out.

The event gets into full swing on Friday night with the Halloween Ball taking place at Paisley Town Hall. Revellers can don their ghastliest costumes and enjoy a night of music, haunted performers and ghoulish ghosts.

Also on the Friday night budding sleuths can head along to Zambretto Italian Restaurant for its Murder Mystery night where they can solve crime while they enjoy a delicious three-course meal.

There’s also plenty of fun for the kids Paisley Museum’s Friday Fright Night. Kids can have a go at devilish arts and crafts, follow the spooky Museum Train to win a prize or enter the Fancy Dress competition.

Halloween will take over the town on Saturday 28 October as Paisley Town Hall transforms into Spook Central with a whole host of free fun activities for all the family including Halloween arts and crafts, mascot meet and greats, face painting, a Halloween market, zombie apocalypse workshops and much more!

Meanwhile, the Village Storytelling Centre will regale visitors with gruesome tales from Paisley’s past at Paisley Abbey where there will also be scary pumpkin carving workshops.

Those who love a good scare can head along to the Brown’s Lane Cinema Yurt on both Friday and Saturday to watch some spooky films for all to enjoy, including classics Ghostbusters, Halloween and The Lost Boys.

Saturday’s activities lead up to the spectacular Halloween Parade which is always a festival highlight! The parade will head off from New Street onto Causeyside Street at 6.30pm and will include a Fire Monster on a Paisley Chariot, the Spark! Drummers, LED lanterns, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band and lots more colourful participants.

Once the parade arrives at its final destination at Abbey Close, Walk the Plank’s spectacular Fire Garden installations, soundscapes, projections and illuminations will make for a real spectacle to enjoy. The Fire Stage will play host to the electrifying Flame Oz, 90’s fusion music, the club sounds party vibe of Mr.Wilson’s Second Liners and the spectacular Spark! LED drummers.

Plus there will be a funfair and live entertainment from local dance and theatre groups and a fantastic selection of local street food vendors and bars selling hot cider in Abbey Close.

Paisley 2021 bid director, Jean Cameron, said: “Our fantastic Halloween Festival is fast becoming a must attend event in the town’s calendar attracting people from across Renfrewshire and beyond to experience all the fun and frights of the fair. This year is set to be bigger and better than before showing that Paisley knows how to throw a party for all to enjoy.”

Tickets for the Halloween Ball cost £8 plus booking fee and include a free drink on arrival. Student tickets are available for £5 plus booking fee with valid student ID. Book your tickets now!

For information on the other activities and events taking place over the course of the weekend please visit: www.paisley2021.co.uk.

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Thank you to Paisley 2021 Bid Send Off Supporters

As Paisley’s bid to be the first Scottish winner of the UK City of Culture title was given an emotional send-off on Friday, those who took part have been issued with a huge thank you for their support.

A large crowd joined local singing star Carol Laula and more than 150 other singers from eight local choirs to mark the bid submission at Paisley Cross for a moving rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme. The song is based on a work by Paisley weaver poet Robert Tannahill.

Last Friday was the deadline for Paisley to submit its second-stage UK City of Culture 2021 bid to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Renfrewshire town is the only Scottish place to make the final shortlist – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “I want to say a huge heart felt ‘thank you’ to every single person who was involved, whether you were from one of our local schools, performing as part of a choir, helping to stage the show, or whether you turned out to wave the bid off.

“We couldn’t have done it without you and we’re very grateful to have your support.

“The community has got behind the bid right from the start and to see so many people come and see it off on Friday was fantastic.

“It was wonderful to hear pupils from so many local schools in fine voice, and joined by other groups of all ages.

“It shone a light on the talent in the town and also the contribution Paisley has made to the world.

“The benefits of winning the title would extend not just throughout Paisley and Renfrewshire, but nationwide.”

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period while attracting more than 800,000 visitors in 2021.

The musical moment and band was co-ordinated by Tommy McGrory of music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud and featured pupils from Castlehead and Johnstone High Schools, as well as people of all ages from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Singing through the Ages, Cotton St Singers, Renfrewshire Carers Choir, Arkleston Singers, Soundroute Singers, RockUs Community Choir, the Rock Choir and Paisley Musical and Operatic Society.

Later that night a string of iconic landmarks across Scotland including Glasgow University, Edinburgh Castle and Dundee’s Caird Hall lit up in Paisley 2021 colours in support of the bid.

Relive all the action from Friday’s mass musical send off here: https://www.facebook.com/paisley2021/

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Massed choirs give emotional send-off to Paisley 2021 bid

Paisley’s bid to be the first Scottish winner of the UK City of Culture title was given an emotional send-off today – as hundreds of choir singers gathered in the town centre for a mass musical performance.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron and Jamie Gatherer
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital All images © Gibson Digital 2017.

A large crowd joined more than 150 singers from eight local choirs to mark the bid submission at Paisley Cross for a moving rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme led by local singing star Carol Laula.

Today was the deadline for Paisley to submit its second-stage UK City of Culture 2021 bid to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Renfrewshire town is the only Scottish place to make the final shortlist – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story – and the send-off follows a massive £45.7m town centre investment package approved by Renfrewshire Council on Thursday afternoon which will prepare the town to host the 2021 title.

That includes a £22m modernisation of Paisley’s iconic 19th-century town hall, £10m of public realm and transport improvements in Paisley town centre, £7.7m to upgrade St James Playing Fields to make it suitable for large outdoor events, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre, and £3.5m to turn the disused Galbraiths warehouse in Back Sneddon Street into a new multi-purpose arts space.

The bid send-off comes in the week it was confirmed Paisley Museum is in line for a £4.9m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and on the day a local group – the Paisley Community Trust – unveiled their plans for a cinema and theatre complex in the town centre.

Wild Mountain Thyme – instantly recognisable after being covered by stars including Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Ed Sheeran – was chosen for its Paisley roots, with the modern version based on an original 1820s piece by Paisley’s weaver poet Robert Tannahill, a contemporary of Burns.

The performance saw the bid ceremonially handed through generations of females, set against the song’s refrain of ‘will ye go lassie go’ – including Renfrewshire’s Deputy Provost Cathy McEwan, Paisley resident and former Moderator of the Church of Scotland Lorna Hood, and University of West of Scotland Masters student and singer Sheyi Aina.

It was then handed over to Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron and Lyla Slattery and Ayda Anderson – two P1 pupils from Glencoats and St Fergus Primary Schools, in Ferguslie Park, Scotland’s most deprived area, before being driven off on board a scooter emblazoned in Paisley’s globally-recognised Pattern.

Paisley 2021 bid send off 29.9.17

The musical moment and band was co-ordinated by Tommy McGrory of music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud and featured pupils from Castlehead and Johnstone High Schools, as well as people of all ages from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Singing through the Ages, Cotton St Singers, Renfrewshire Carers Choir, Arkleston Singers, Soundroute Singers, RockUs Community Choir, the Rock Choir and Paisley Musical and Operatic Society.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board Councillor Iain Nicolson said: “Today was a truly historic and inspiring moment for Paisley and it was an absolute privilege to be part of it – the culmination of a two-year journey which has already done so much for the town.

“Paisley is a town which needs a boost – and there is nothing which could do more to deliver that than becoming UK City of Culture 2021.

“That difference will be felt beyond Renfrewshire – we are very much Scotland’s bid, and with huge numbers of visitors expected in 2021 if we win, the benefits will be felt throughout the country.

“The bid is part of a wider plan to harness the power of culture and heritage to transform our town – the town centre investment approved by the council yesterday equips us to welcome world-class artists to our historic venues in 2021, while supporting that wider long-term vision.

“And to have a local group such as the Paisley Community Trust putting forward their own plans shows a shared vision of Paisley’s potential, and that the town is now seen as an attractive place to invest.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added: “Our bid has been themed around the voices of Paisley and today was a spine-tingling way of bringing that to life – the sight and sound of those people joining together as one was an emotional, amazing moment, and one that will stay with me forever.

“It showed everything we want the world to see about Paisley – the quality of our home-grown talent, the contribution Paisley and its cultural figures have made to the world, and the warmth of the welcome visitors will receive if they come to our party in 2021.

“The people of Paisley have backed this bid from day one – more than 34,000, a number almost equivalent to half our population, joined the conversation around the first-stage bid – and today was another stunning show of support.

“As well as the economic benefits, Paisley’s bid will take the power of culture to make people’s lives better to every corner of Renfrewshire and today was a uniquely Paisley way for the people of this town to show how they have embraced that.”

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period while attracting more than 800,000 visitors in 2021.

Current UK City of Culture hosts Hull have seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Scotland’s iconic landmarks light up to support Paisley City of Culture 2021 bid

Scotland showed its support for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 as the nation’s most iconic landmarks lit up in Paisley 2021 colours to celebrate the bid being lodged.

Friday was the deadline for Paisley to submit its second-stage UK City of Culture 2021 bid to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Iconic landmarks across the country lit up in the Paisley 2021 signature red to show their support and mark the occasion. Participating venues included Edinburgh Castle, The Kelpies, University of Glasgow, Dundee’s Caird Hall and Paisley’s own Town Hall.

Edinburgh Castle lights up for Paisley 2021 for UK City of Culture.
Picture by Stewart Attwood
All images © Stewart Attwood Photography 2017. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

The country-wide celebration followed an emotional send-off in Paisley town centre on Friday where a large crowd joined more than 150 singers from eight local choirs for a mass musical performance of Wild Mountain Thyme led by local singing star Carol Laula.

The Renfrewshire town is the only Scottish location to make the final shortlist and the only town to get this far. Paisley’s bid will be considered alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

Pic Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk
The Caird Hall lit up for Paisly city of culture bid

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story – and the send-off follows a massive £45.7m town centre investment package approved by Renfrewshire Council earlier in the week which will prepare the town to host the 2021 title.

The investment includes a £22m modernisation of Paisley’s iconic 19th-century town hall, £10m of public realm and transport improvements in Paisley town centre, £7.7m to upgrade St James Playing Fields to make it suitable for large outdoor events, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre, and £3.5m to turn the disused Galbraiths warehouse in Back Sneddon Street into a new performance and visual arts space.

The bid send-off moment is the latest piece of good news to come out of the town this week as it was also confirmed earlier this week that Paisley Museum is in line for a £4.9m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added:  “As Scotland’s bid it’s fantastic to see the whole country get behind us and celebrate this significant point in our UK City of Culture 2021 journey. There has never been a Scottish winner but we would love to be the first – the whole country agrees that this – as Gerry Rafferty said – is ‘the right moment’ for Paisley.

“The benefits of winning the title will be felt nationwide, both in terms of visitors and economic impact, and will be instrumental in reinforcing the diversity and ambition of what Scotland’s cultural scene has to offer.

“Our bid has been shaped by the voices of Paisley and our hometown send off moment was a spine-tingling way of bringing that to life – the sight and sound of everyone joining together as one was an emotional, amazing moment, and one that will stay with me forever.”

Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle said: “We’re delighted to play our part in supporting Paisley’s bid. It would be unprecedented for a town in Scotland to be successful in securing the City of Culture mantle and we wish Paisley every success.”

It is estimated that Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period while attracting more than 800,000 visitors during the host year.

Current UK City of Culture hosts Hull have seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk