Lions were on the loose all across Renfrewshire on Friday night as the ‘Pride of Paisley’ public art project came to a close.
The 25 colourful lions were auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.
Paisley Love Buddie was the most sought after lion fetching a magnificent £6500.
The extremely popular public art trail was brought to the town centre by business regeneration group Paisley First as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
Inspired by Paisley Museum’s famous ‘Buddy the Lion’, each lion featured a different aspect of Paisley’s unique culture and heritage.
They’ve been the ‘mane’ attraction in the town centre over the past ten weeks which has seen an estimated 20,000 visitors following the trail around the town.
Alongside the 25 full-size lions, 40 mini lions have been spread around the area with the aim of attracting visitors into shops, cafes and restaurants.
Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First Manager, said: ““The Pride of Paisley has been an enormous success for Paisley First and demonstrates what we can achieve through our business improvement district over the next four years.
“The project increased footfall and brought new visitors into the town who have went on to spend in local shops, restaurants and cafes. We are currently working on next year’s summer projects which I am sure will be as good, if not better than this year.”
Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Pride of Paisley lions brought a real buzz around the town centre and the project has been an unquestionable success.
“We are working hard to regenerate Paisley as part of our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the project has highlighted the community spirit that Paisley possesses- which we need to harness if our bid is to be successful.”
Paisley First Business Improvement District is a business-led organisation which has been tasked with bringing forward events and activities to increase footfall and stimulate investment.
Paisley First are also a key partner in Paisley’s push towards the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
The art trail’s headlining sponsors were: West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Leisure, The Piazza, Paisley First, Paisley 2021 and PACE Theatre Company.
For more information on the project visit: www.prideofpaisley.co.uk
For more information on how you can get involved in backing the bid for UK City of Culture visit www.Paisley2021.co.uk.