Responding to news that Paisley has been unsuccessful in our bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021, Labour MSP Neil Bibby said:
“The announcement is obviously bitterly disappointing for Paisley, and in particular for all the Bid team staff and community groups who put their hearts and souls into the Paisley 2021 project.
“While the final result might hurt, we should hold our heads up high and be very proud with how far our town made it in this contest. And every Paisley buddy can share that pride.
“I would like to congratulate Coventry on winning the award. Being a UK wide contest meant we were up against very strong competition from across Britain and getting to final five shortlist is still a huge achievement that we should not lose sight of.
“Despite just missing out, Paisley is still a winner. The Paisley 2021 bid has helped put our town back on the map once again. Paisley Buddies and organisations have also made many friends and links with other towns and cities across the UK.
“I believe we owe all those who have shaped the bid and helped take us this far a huge amount of thanks. At this time, it is important to recognise that there wouldn’t have been a bid at all without the vision and leadership of former Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Bid Director Jean Cameron and all the Paisley 2021 staff and volunteers. It has also been fantastic to see thousands of Buddies get behind the bid over the past two years.
“It is now vital moving forward that we utilise the momentum and buzz the project has helped create. I hope and anticipate that Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government will still progress the ambitious plans that were part of the bid irrespective of the result. I look forward to working with them and local people to leave a lasting legacy from Paisley’s bid.”
Renfrewshire Council Labour Group Leader, Councillor Eddie Devine added:
“Despite this disappointing result, there are still a huge number of positives we can take from the Paisley 2021 bid. Our efforts to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 not only united the whole of Paisley, but secured support up and down the country.
“Paisley was up against some fierce competition, but without the shared effort, and shared vision for our town, we would not have come as far as we have.
“It’s vital that we don’t accept this as the end of Paisley’s cultural journey, but merely the beginning. We can continue to celebrate our industrial heritage, our stunning architecture, and our talented Paisley buddies with pride, while also striving for the transformative change that our town needs.”