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Leader wants town to be creative industry centre of excellence

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire’s Council Leader wants to help transform Paisley’s future by turning the town into a centre of excellence in creative industries.

Councillor Mark Macmillan believes Paisley is ideally placed to lead the way for the rest of Scotland in becoming the country’s first town centre enterprise area.

The Scottish Government has already created 15 enterprise areas across the country, based on life science, renewables and manufacturing.

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Under the scheme, businesses within designated sectors and locations are able to access financial incentives to help encourage investment and growth.

Councillor Macmillan says there should be a new category, covering creative and cultural industries – and says Paisley would be a perfect fit.

He has written to Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney asking him to back the idea, which he believes will complement the council’s existing work to transform Paisley’s future using its heritage and cultural assets.

He said: “The council is already working to promote Paisley and Renfrewshire to the world, and earlier this year unveiled ambitious plans aimed at using heritage and culture to drive a wide-ranging programme of regeneration over the next decade.

“I believe the government in Holyrood could support that work by creating a new category of enterprise area based around creativity and culture – and make Paisley the first of its kind.

“There is a clear opportunity to use Paisley’s existing assets to create a centre of expertise in creative industries, which business can feed off to create jobs and stimulate growth.

“Just look at what Paisley town centre can already offer. We are the home of the Paisley Pattern – a globally recognised brand – and have the proud legacy of our one-time place at the centre of the world’s textile industry.

“We have the second-highest concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland and a museum collection described as ‘internationally-significant’.

“We are the home to PACE – the UK’s largest youth theatre group – as well as the internationally-renowned research capacity of the University of the West of Scotland.

“In October we hosted another successful year of The Spree arts festival, and our growing town centre events programme attracts tens of thousands of people every year.

“I believe enterprise area status for Paisley would create opportunities for businesses to grow, and increase the resilience of the local and national economies.

“I have asked Mr Swinney to consider my proposal and hope he will back my idea for Paisley to become Scotland’s first town centre enterprise area.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Photograph courtesy of Ian McDonald.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]