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Spectacular programme revealed for Paisley’s winter events season

The spectacular programme has been revealed for this year’s winter events season in Paisley – with Northern Irish rockers Ash set to headline the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Paisley’s winter events programme will begin with the two-day Halloween Festival on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October. The special 80’s themed Paisley Fireworks Spectacular will take place on the Saturday 4 November with the ever-popular Christmas Lights Switch On taking place two weeks later on Saturday 18 November.

Paisley Winter Events package.
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Winter events excitement will extend across Renfrewshire with live music and free family entertainment taking place at Christmas Lights Switch Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 25 November and Johnstone on Saturday 2 December. The annual MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards comes to Paisley for the first time ever and will be held at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 2 December.

Programme highlights include:

  • the spooktacular Halloween Parade through Paisley town centre with a stunning fire monster on a Paisley Chariot, New Orleans style street band Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band, the Spark! Drummers and much more.


  • a spectacular Fire Garden and Fire Stage at Bridge Street with soundscapes, projections and illuminations to make for a real extravaganza of sight and sound in Abbey Close.


  • a night of music, haunted performers and spooky goings-on with a Halloween Ball at Paisley Town Hall and Friday Fright Night at Paisley Museum, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure.


  • an 80s themed Silent Disco in Paisley Town Hall during the afternoon and broadcast from Clyde One DJs in the evening ahead of the Paisley Fireworks Spectacular at Abbey Close.


  • The famous Reindeer Parade starting and finishing on Paisley High Street before Santa opens his grotto outside the Paisley Centre.


  • a Live Stage with performance by music headliners Ash before Paisley’s festive season is officially marked with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

The winter season is part of a wider programme of events in Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish location on the shortlist for the title, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area, with the final bid document due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Halloween Festival, Fireworks Spectacular and Christmas Lights Switch On are established favourites in the town’s events calendar – and this year Paisley’s winter events programme is even bigger and better than ever.

“One of the key aims of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is to showcase the town’s proven track record in hosting a diverse range of major cultural activities and the winter events programme highlights just that.”

Tim Wheeler, frontman of Ash, said: “We’re really looking forward to playing Paisley for the switching on of the Christmas lights this year. Hopefully our tunes will get the elves dancing and the Christmas spirit flowing.”

Santa Claus, who visited the town for the launch of Paisley’s winter events programme, is looking forward to the Christmas Lights Switch On and said: “It will be a happy, wonderful occasion. Paisley’s real strength is its great people and I know they’ll turn out to see me and enjoy the night.”

Gerry Lyons, DJ for the 80s themed Silent Disco and family fun at the Fireworks Spectacular, said: “The eighties was a great decade for music and I’ll be playing everything from classic pop like Wham through to power ballads and iconic tunes like Michael Jackson’s thriller. The silent disco will see people in the room listen to different music through head phones, so they’re dancing to different tunes and it’s great fun.”

Find out more information at www.paisley2021.co.uk.

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Major town centre investment to be considered by councillors

town hall spring

A major package of capital investment in Paisley town centre is set to be considered by Renfrewshire councillors when they meet next week.

Plans being put forward propose a package of investment totalling £45.7million in refurbishment and upgrades to Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre, a new venue at the former Galbraith’s site on Back Sneddon Street in the town; improvements to Paisley town centre as well as an upgrade to St James Playing field.

town hall spring

Paisley Town Hall

The plans are part of the town’s final bid for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition, which is also being considered by councillors next week, with a decision on the winner expected by the end of the year.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish bidder on the shortlist for the 2021 competition, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage offer to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The whole of Renfrewshire has such a rich heritage and world class local talent and this investment will bring significant benefit to communities right across the region.

“Culture and heritage can play such a transformational role in supporting our local economy and improving the opportunities and wellbeing for our communities, investing in improvements to our existing venues and our town centre environment, we can make a real change in the fortunes of the area.

“Winning the title will boost the local economy by £175million, create more than 4,700 local jobs in the area, boost our tourism industry and improve the profile of the area, showing investors how much Renfrewshire has to offer.”

The plans include:

£22million for Paisley Town Hall – to increase performance attendances and attract high quality events to improve the visitor experience and improve the physical infrastructure of the building to secure its long term future

£2.5 million for Paisley Arts Centre – to upgrade electrical works, improve toilet provision, provide changing accommodation for performers, new seating, improved staging, redecoration and improved access arrangements

£10million improvements to Paisley town centre – include improved access into the town centre, pedestrian and cycling routes, public transport, local traffic improvements and investment in the physical appearance of the town centre

£3.5million to transform the former Galbraith’s building on Back Sneddon Street to provide a venue for performance and visual art events.

£7.7million redevelopment of facilities at St James playing field including an upgrade to grass pitches, a new pavilion and café, and an area to accommodate large scale events; and an upgrade to the existing Ferguslie Park Sports Centre.

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Paisley 2021 bid backed by all local party leaders

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has received a show of cross-party support – having been backed by all five party leaders on Renfrewshire Council.

The final bid document is due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month – and elected members are set to consider it when the council meets on September 28.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish bidder on the shortlist for the 2021 competition, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage offer to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area.

And support crosses party lines – with council leader Iain Nicolson (SNP), Labour’s Eddie Devine, James MacLaren of the Conservatives, Lib Dem Eileen McCartin and independent Andy Doig all gathering outside Paisley Abbey to give their backing, joined by children from Williamsburgh Primary.

The bid has already enjoyed public support from national political figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Secretary David Mundell and outgoing Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Councillor Nicolson – who also chairs the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “The potential benefits of a successful bid are absolutely massive – for example, the activity before, during and after our planned UK City of Culture year is predicted to create 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

“When dealing with something of that scale it is important we as elected members put our party differences aside and do all we can to make it happen – so I am delighted to be joined by my fellow councillors today to show our collective support for the bid.”

Councillor Devine said: “Over the past two years, the Paisley 2021 bid has energised people throughout the town and given them a reason to believe in Paisley again – Buddies have driven the campaign to date and they deserve this title and all the benefits it will bring them.”

Councillor MacLaren added: “We have already seen from previous winners Derry-Londonderry and Hull how winning this title can boost local business and drive investment in infrastructure and industry. I am happy to get behind anything which could do the same for Paisley and Renfrewshire.”

Councillor McCartin said: “Paisley was once the centre of the world’s textile industry and the legacy of that is still around us in wonderful buildings such as our town hall and Sma’ Shot Cottages. That story should be told to as many people as possible and I back anything which will help do that.”

And Councillor Doig added: “Renfrewshire has some great heritage attractions and huge potential as a visitor destination – and a successful Paisley 2021 bid will bring huge numbers of people to the area, giving all our towns and villages a chance to benefit.”

The winner of the competition is due to be announced in December. For more info, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

The Scottish Government has given its financial backing to Scotland’s bid if Paisley is named UK City of Culture 2021.


Commenting Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay, who also serves as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said:


“The Scottish Government is backing Paisley’s bid, and I am delighted to play my role and add my support as local MSP and Finance Secretary.


“Winning UK City of Culture will benefit all of Renfrewshire, and as the only bid from Scotland shortlisted – the eyes of the country are on Paisley and Renfrewshire.


“It has been a fantastic, positive and energised campaign which is all about people, and great credit must go to everyone involved.”

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Scottish Government gives financial backing to Scotland’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

The Scottish Government has given its financial backing to Scotland’s bid if Paisley is named UK City of Culture 2021.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, made the announcement while attending the first of a series of culture conversation events which took place at the University of the West of Scotland campus in the heart of Paisley.

The endorsement from the Scottish Government recognises the contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s culture and demonstrates its support of the ambitions and benefits the bid seeks to deliver.

Paisley is the only Scottish contender and the only town shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition, which is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The other bidders shortlisted for the title are; Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I am very pleased to be back in Paisley to discuss A Culture Strategy for Scotland and confirm the Scottish Government’s support for Paisley 2021’s bid as the UK City of Culture.

“It is an exciting prospect which fits in well with the Government’s ambitions as we recognise the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life and the local and national boost this would bring.

“Scottish Ministers have been consulted on the plans being submitted by Paisley to support the delivery of the bid.  The Scottish Government is including its contribution to the Paisley bid within its spending review plans as will the National Agencies.

“I am confident today’s event will offer an important platform for everyone that is keen to have their say on the future of culture in Scotland. The local and national boost that being UK City of Culture 2021 would bring to Paisley is an exciting prospect and I am pleased the town’s cultural journey continues in this competition.”

Leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “The fact that the Scottish Government has committed to financially support Scotland’s bid, if successful, is a great boost as we make our final preparations to submit the town’s final bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“There has never been a Scottish winner of the competition but we would love to be the first. The pledge made by the Cabinet Secretary supports our view that a successful bid for Paisley will produce benefits that will be felt across the whole country in terms of visitor numbers and economic impact and as a showcase of cultural excellence.”

Paisley’s final bid is due to be submitted at the end of the month with an announcement on the winner expected in December.

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Singing Children of Africa Choir wow crowd with Paisley return

A chorus of beautiful voices filled Paisley Town Hall last night (Sunday 17 September) as the Singing Children of Africa Choir returned to the town for another sparkling performance.

The group of youngsters, aged nine to 16-years-old from the Jolaurabi School in Mombasa, Kenya, warmed the hearts of the hundreds in attendance with The Angels Tour 2017 show.

The show also featured Kirklandneuk Primary School pupils, who performed scenes from The Lion King, as well as special performances by the Renfrewshire Community Gospel Choir and dancers from the award-winning Street Stuff youth scheme.

Choir teacher Simon Sims was also on hand to entertain the audience with a solo performance on his return to Paisley before all performers joined together for a rousing rendition of Flower of Scotland.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of Renfrewshire Council supporting the event and was part of the exciting calendar of activities taking place as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021.

MSP for Renfrewshire North & West Derek Mackay announced during a speech at the event that over £15,000 had been raised for Scottish charity Educate the Kids, including £5,000 funding from the Scottish Government.

The Singing Children of Africa Choir were set up by the charity, which raises funds towards the youngsters’ education and development by bringing the choir over for concerts around the country.

Renfrew volunteers Mike and Lynn Baldwin – who have been involved with the charity for over 10 years – have regularly organised the children’s visits to Renfrewshire, including their last tour in August 2016.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who welcomed the choir and audience on the evening, said: “I was delighted to welcome the Singing Children of Africa choir back to Renfrewshire and it was a special sight to see them perform in Paisley’s historic Town Hall.

“These amazingly talented youngsters really captured the hearts of those in attendance with their wonderful voices and inspirational stories. The tours organised by Educate the Kids helps to give the children the education they deserve and it’s great to see local people helping such a fantastic cause.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Seeing the Singing Children of Africa choir and talented local groups from across Renfrewshire putting on a special performance in the beautiful surroundings of Paisley Town Hall was a wonderful experience.

“This concert is another example of the wide range of cultural activities taking place as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – and with our annual music, comedy and drama festival ‘The Spree’ just weeks away it really is an exciting time for the area.”

Find out how you can sponsor a child at https://www.educatethekids.com/support-a-child/.

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Tom Urie helps Burger and Keg say cheers to Paisley’s Spree programme

Paisley’s annual Spree festival is being served up with a side-order of burgers, beer and banter – with local bar Burger and Keg bringing some of Scotland’s top comedians to the town.

RDC Burger and Keg 11.9.17
Burger and Keg in Gilmour St
photo with bar owners Gary and Trevor with Tom Urie, who will be appearing in their tent during this year’s Spree.

The Gilmour Street venue has teamed up with Fosters to stage a Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close for the first nine days of the annual festival, on between 13 and 24 October.

The 150-capacity venue will host top names including Paisley’s very own Tom Urie – who will appear alongside fellow comedian Janey Godley on Wednesday 18 October.

Other well-known comedy acts appearing include Burnistoun’s Rab Florence supported by Scotsquad’s Darren Connell (Saturday 14th), the team from ICW Wrestling (Monday 16th) and the Thinking Drinkers alongside Billy Kirkwood (Thurs 19th).

RDC Burger and Keg 11.9.17
Burger and Keg in Gilmour St
photo with bar owners Gary and Trevor with Tom Urie, who will be appearing in their tent during this year’s Spree.

There’s also an entertainment programme from Paisley-based promoters NNE and a showcase hosted by regular Burger and Keg open-mic man Johnny Barr, while free daytime shows include theatre workshops for kids from AG Theatre School and poetry classes run by Paisley Poems.

The Burger and Keg Live Tent will also be open as an outside bar for fans attending the main Spree shows in Paisley Abbey, including eagerly-anticipated and sold-out gigs from Paisley’s Paolo Nutini and Frightened Rabbit with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

You can see the full list of shows and buy tickets at www.burgerandkeg.co.uk

The Spree festival is now in its sixth year and taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Burger and Keg will also run the bar inside the Spiegeltent in County Square, where the bulk of the Spree action will take place, as well as an additional outdoor Fosters Bar tent in the square.

And the pub itself – stationed handily between the Spiegeltent and the festival box office in the InCube shop in Gilmour Street – will be open for business and serving food until 9.30pm and drink until midnight (1am on Friday and Saturday) during the 12-day festival.

Singer and actor Tom Urie – who starred in the BBC’s Proms and the Park event at the weekend with a stirring rendition of opera classic Nessun Dorma – popped into Burger and Keg to meet owners Trevor Mills and Gary McCaw, who also runs the town’s Bianco and Nero cafe and function room.

Tom said: “I am looking forward to performing in my home town in the Burger and Keg Live Tent during The Spree. I’ll be there with my pal Janey Godley for a night of music and comedy…and I look forward to seeing you then!”

Trevor added: “The Spree festival is great for Paisley – it and other events bring footfall into the town which benefits us and other businesses, and if we win UK City of Culture 2021 that will move to a totally different level.

“So we are delighted to be involved in The Spree and delighted to add to the festival atmosphere around the town with the shows in the Burger and Keg Live Tent.

“We have attracted some outstanding performers with national profile and tickets are on sale now so please check out the programme and join us in October.”

The main Spree bill includes music from James Grant, Dougie MacLean, Breabach, Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, and Sharon Shannon and Fara.

There’s also comedy in association with Edinburgh’s famed Gilded Balloon club, plus theatre, dance, spoken word and a full programme of free kids shows for the October school holidays.

The Spree is supported by EventScotland and the British Council. The full programme and tickets are at www.thespree.co.uk.

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Latest groups in line to benefit from £171,000 Paisley 2021 funding boost revealed


A fund designed to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has named projects set to share a £171,000 funding boost – including a musical about the town’s historic Bungalow Bar, an opera inspired by the town’s witch trials, and a festival in Ferguslie Park.


Renfrewshire Council created a Culture, Heritage and Events Fund two years ago to boost the capacity of the local creative scene and create more chances for people to get involved in cultural activity in the run-up to the 2021 bid being lodged.

The initial £500,000 investment was doubled to £1m earlier this year – with 65 projects having already been funded through the £462,000 committed to date.

The five rounds of CHE Fund have seen a total of 242 applications from across Scotland, with a total funding ask of almost £3m.

And members of the council’s leadership board will next week (Wednesday) be asked to approve the list of 15 projects recommended to be funded in the latest round. Highlights include:

– £10,000 to local music charity Loud n Proud for a musical allowing various local youth groups telling the incredible story of the original Bungalow Bar – which hosted many of the biggest names in music;
– £10,000 to Paisley Opera to create a special performance in Paisley Abbey inspired by the town’s famous witch trials – the last mass hanging for witchcraft in Western Europe;
– £20,000 to the New Tannahill Centre for a multi-artform festival in Ferguslie Park featuring local groups such as Paisley YMCA, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and Quarriers;
– £22,333, to part-fund a ground-breaking collaboration with respected playwright Nicola McCartney to showcase the creativity of Renfrewshire young people who grew up in care, as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People;
– £12,660 to local group Right2Dance to bring a nationally-renowned dance company to town to work with young people during free workshops;
– £9,999 to youth group Create Paisley to produce 26 music videos, giving young people experience in broadcasting and film-making.

The recommendations were made by a specially-convened panel from the Paisley 2021 bid team and based on criteria including the CHE Fund objectives, value for money, public benefit and legacy opportunities.

Paisley was confirmed earlier this year as the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture competition – with the winner due to be announced by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the year.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to harness the power of creativity and of our unique heritage story to transform the future of the whole area, and the CHE Fund is one of the key building blocks within that.

“Once again, the applications show the strength and diversity of the local creative scene, and it was a tough job for the panel to whittle that down to the 15 projects they have asked councillors to approve.

“One of the reasons the council created the CHE Fund is we know involvement in cultural activity is good for people’s lives, and we want to make it easier for more people to enjoy those benefits.

“So it is good to see suggested projects based around some of our hard-to-reach and marginalised groups, as well as others offering free access to music, dance and film production to young people.

“At the same time, the CHE Fund is strengthening the case for Paisley become the next UK City of Culture – by bringing expertise from across Scotland here to work with and develop our homegrown talent, and proving we have what it takes to stage top-class programming.”

For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Paisley’s National Festival and one of the biggest events in Scotland’s cultural calendar, The Spree is back for its sixth consecutive year with some of the biggest names in Scottish music, comedy and entertainment, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini.

The twelve-day extravaganza will see dozens of events take place throughout Paisley between 13th and 24th October and tickets are available now via www.thespree.co.uk.

The Spree is taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and is helping cement Paisley’s place as a key destination on Scotland’s events map.

This year’s line-up includes a spectacular show from Frightened Rabbit, who are collaborating with The Royal Scottish National Orchestra for a once in a lifetime performance in the stunning surrounding of Paisley Abbey. Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison commented “This will be the last show of our current campaign and we’re excited it’s going to be such a special one to end on. Playing with the RSNO will be an absolute privilege and we can’t wait to hear it as much as everyone else. Having seen previous performances by The Twilight Sad and Idlewild, I’m sure it’s going to be a special night. See you round the organ for a heart-warming rendition of Keep Yourself Warm!”

Trad heavyweights, Breabach are joined by some of the country’s finest, world class musicians; Kris Drever and Talisk; as multi-award-winning Irish artist Sharon Shannon, will take to the stage with finalists from this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk awards, Fara.

This year’s festival will be kicking off with a twist, opening with a celebration of twin festival, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) one of India’s most prestigious festivals; the musical collaboration will weave together the two cultures featuring traditional music from India and Scotland in celebration of friendship and connections.

Other acts on the bill include Dougie McLean, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, the Pictish Trail, Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert, and a very special show where James Grant explores Paisley’s Untold Story.

The Spree is renowned for hosting some of the biggest names in Scottish comedy and this year is no exception, teaming up with the Gilded Balloon to showcase some of the hottest names in comedy which are set to have the audience in stiches from start to finish.

The festival also includes theatre, film and spoken word, with a full programme of kids events, with much of the action taking place in a specially-erected Spiegeltent in the town centre.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree festival is now firmly established on Scotland’s festival calendar and we are very excited by this year’s line-up, with almost 60 shows in various venues and a wide range of art forms – from music and dance to theatre and poetry, and plenty for the kids during the October holidays.

“This year’s festival is extra special because it is taking place so close to the final decision over whether Paisley will be named the UK City of Culture 2021.

“As well as showcasing Paisley’s unique venues and ability to host major events with big Scottish and international names, we are delighted The Spree offers a platform for some of Paisley’s fantastic home-grown talent too.”

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 during the festival, with details to be revealed soon.

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


Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be once again supporting The Spree through our National Programme, and I have no doubt this year’s festival will capture the imagination of visitors with some hugely exciting Scottish and international acts on the bill. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and The Spree is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Paisley’s cultural offering, especially in support of the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.


Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the Box Office on

0300 300 1210.

For more information, contact Wire:

Laura Craik | laura@wearewire.co | 0141 648 9610 | 07817 765 888

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Scottish politicians unite around Paisley 2021

Paisley 2021

Scotland’s Westminster politicians have come together to back Paisley’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture in 2021.

Paisley 2021

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, brought together politicians from all political parties to highlight the cross-party support for Paisley securing the title of the UK’s City of Culture.


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


“Paisley’s bid to be named as the UK City of Culture is now Scotland’s bid and all of the country’s Westminster-based politicians are right behind the campaign to bring this title to Paisley.


“It’s not often that all of Scotland’s main political parties will agree on an issue, but the Paisley 2021 community-led campaign is a special cause that has united us.


“There isn’t a town in the UK that has had a bigger cultural impact on the world than Paisley. The Paisley pattern is famous the world over and the town’s famous performance heritage includes modern day music and acting stars like Paulo Nutini, Gerard Butler and David Tennant.


“Paisley is a town not without its challenges but we’re ready to help seize this opportunity to transform our town for the better, helping to improve the lives of all our citizens. Paisley’s case to be named the UK’s City of Culture is as strong as it gets, and I am delighted that all Scots politicians are united in backing Paisley’s bid to be named as the UK’s City of Culture.”


Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “As the only Scottish place to make the shortlist, Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is now very much Scotland’s bid.


“If Paisley wins the title we will host a year-long programme of world-class cultural events, with the best part of a million visitors expected over the year – and there is a recognition the economic, social and cultural benefits of that would be felt throughout Scotland.


“We are thrilled Gavin Newlands was able to pull together such a great show of cross-party political support from MPs – one of the wonderful things about the bid is the way it has brought people together, and we thank everybody for their backing.”

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Call for music enthusiasts to lead Halloween Festival Parade

A New Orleans style street band is looking for Paisley’s top musical talent to help lead this year’s Halloween Festival parade through the town.

Whether it’s the saxophone, trombone, clarinet, banjo or anything in between Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Street Band is encouraging everyone to get involved in the parade on Saturday 28 October.

This event is part of a wider programme of events linked with Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners is a style street band that play 90’s club classics to get audiences young and old in the party spirit. This music fans chance to be part of this major event and play along with this fantastic band.

Those interested in taking part in the parade are invited to come along to two rehearsals on Thursday 12 and Monday 23 October from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Paisley Town Hall and learn three pieces of music with band leader Will Lenton. The tunes will then be played by participants and Mr.Wilson’s Band as the parade makes its way through the town.

Billie Klinger, Creative Producer from Walk the Plank says: “Mr Wilson’s Second Liners are well established creative collaborators with us, and have wowed crowds at various shows of ours around the country.  This is a fantastic opportunity to make some feel good music with a band that, quite deservedly, has something of a cult following.  For musicians who want to add something to their repertoire, this is an experience not to be missed.”

All levels of musical experience and any instruments are welcome! The band can provide written music if required.

Paisley 2021 bid director, Jean Cameron, said: “We already know that we have a number of talented musicians in our community and this is a great opportunity for people of all ages and musical abilities across Renfrewshire to showcase their talents and take part in a great event.”

There will be one final rehearsal on the day of the parade from 4.30pm to 5.30pm before the main event starts at 6.30pm.

Those looking to take part can register by emailing events@renfrewshire.gov.uk by Monday 9 October. Please note those wishing to take part will need to provide information on their age, contact details and what instrument they intend to play. Further details will be provided to volunteers on Tuesday 20 October.

To find out more about the event please visit: www.paisley2021.co.uk/events/.