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Renfrewshire Virtual Reality pilot project allows elderly to access outside world from home

A pilot project is using Virtual Reality to hook up older and isolated members of the community to cultural experiences they would otherwise be unable to access.

Pensioner Ruth Clunie, aged 98 tries out new virtual reality for the housebound 14.12.17

Thanks to support from Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund, housebound and elderly members of Paisley-based Roar Connections for Life, are having their horizons opened up by the technology.

The fund was set up in 2015 as a way of getting people involved in culture and unlocking Renfrewshire’s creative potential as part of Paisley’s bid to win the UK City of Culture 2021 title.

It continues as a key legacy now that the competition is over, with applications from local groups invited for further rounds of funding.

Pensioner Ruth Clunie, aged 98 tries out new virtual reality for the housebound 14.12.17

The ‘VR Over the Doorstep’ project is being tested in the community by people befriended by the charity, which provides preventative, health and wellbeing services for older people.

Film maker and Virtual Reality Artist Simon Bishopp, said: “The idea is to involve isolated and mobility impaired elderly people in the Renfrewshire community to allow them to engage with cultural events and activities that they can’t physically travel to.

“We will visit them with Virtual Reality headsets so they’ll be able to see and interact with things that have happened in the area.

“At the moment we’re going through the testing phase and are making the apps which allows them to travel around virtual spaces – so they can visit physical spaces that we’ve filmed and then engage with things there simply by looking at them.”

The users will be able to go to places like Paisley Museum and by simply by looking at the virtual exhibits, the objects will become larger and closer to them and rotate. Even online UK Casinos.

A narrator will take them through the museum and they will be able to move from one room to the next to create an immersive experience that feels like they’re actually there.”

The six months pilot scheme also aims to offer live stream events like theatre productions.

Virtual Reality can also be used to take the housebound and elderly members to significant places from their past that they wouldn’t normally be able to revisit.

Simon added: “We can take them to spaces that they wouldn’t easily be able to access, like the Coats Observatory in Paisley.

“We also intend to do some live streaming and hope to do that from the new High Street Museum store in Paisley, the Secret Collection, which is full of wonderful exhibits.

“So we will create content on multiple apps and then take that out to see what people think of it. I hope it will give them a sense of mobility and of being able to engage with the community and leaving behind the isolation they can feel.

“We’ve taken a film at the RSPB in Lochwinnoch and the members really enjoyed being able to see what was going outside of where they spend their days and being outside, hearing the sounds and seeing the birds.

“For us that’s a very every day thing, but for them it’s very special.”

Roar has 15 clubs and projects in a range of venues running throughout the week in Renfrewshire.

Roar’s Manager Nicola Hanssen said: “This is a very exciting project. Research has identified that two fifths of all older people say the television is their main company. As this is a very passive activity it doesn’t give people the cognitive stimulation or interactivity that contains health benefits. Our VR Over the Doorstep project will engage people in a new and more meaningful way, which will enrich their lives and their minds.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The UK City of Culture bid about bringing people together and opening up new experiences for people which is what this project does. That doesn’t stop just because we didn’t win the title and we will continue to open up the benefits of culture for all.”

For more information on the CHE Fund, which is still receiving funding applications for cultural events and projects, go towww.paisley2021.co.uk

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School children asked to fly the flag for Paisley start of historic rally

Renfrewshire school children are being asked to design a winning flag to wave off drivers taking part in one of the world’s most iconic races.

Paisley is the only British starting point of the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally, with 25 cars setting off for the 1500-mile trip to the South of France next month.

A competition has been launched for local pupils to design a flag to send the competitors in the historic event on their way.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will select the winner, who will also get to keep the flag after the event on January 31st.

Almost 100 cars in total are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm, in three separate categories.

Next year’s event also has crews from Scotland, England, Wales, as well as Europe and the USA.

Provost Cameron said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for school children to get their creative thinking caps on and put their own stamp on a world class event.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the amazing designs I know our talented pupils will come up with and can’t wait to wave the drivers off at the start line.”

Entries can be submitted at schools and local libraries with a closing date of January 15th. The competition is exclusive to primary school children and please remember to include your name, age, school and contact information with your entry.

Next year’s event, which sees Paisley as the sole British starting point for the fifth time, will feature the popular Monte Carlo Heritage Runs and the competitors will be sent off in style from Paisley in a party atmosphere with lights, music and fireworks.

The event will also have lots of motor-themed activities such as a giant scalextric, racing arcade games and free children’s workshops in Paisley Town Hall from 4pm.

Douglas Anderson, the rally’s UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte Carlo Rally back to Scotland in 2011, said: “We are delighted that the youngsters of the community can get involved in the rally in this way and the winning design will be seen all over Europe.

“It’s wonderful to be returning to Paisley for the fifth year and we are looking forward to a huge turn out on January 31st.”

The Historique class is being run for the 21st year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1969 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.

For more information please go to www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Paisley singer Lisa Kowalski unveils debut music video about her hometown

Paisley singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski has unveiled her very first music video – inspired by the positivity of her hometown.

“Hearts of Gold” recounts the 17-year-old’s experiences of busking on Paisley High Street since the age of 14 and the wave of support she has received from local people.

The video sees the up-and-coming singer joined by a crowd of fellow Buddies – including St Mirren Football Club mascot, the Paisley Panda, and youngsters from PACE Youth Theatre – as they dance along Paisley High Street and around some of the town’s iconic landmarks.

Lisa was awarded funding from Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund towards her debut EP “Free Spirits” and the filming of a music video for her single “Hearts of Gold”.

The CHE fund aims to raise cultural ambition, enhance participation and unlock creative potential in Renfrewshire.

It is one of the key legacies of Paisley’s 2021 bid for UK City of Culture and has so far supported 80 projects to the tune of more than £630,000.

Paisley was the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition alongside Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, which took the title.

Lisa’s video was filmed by local youth arts organisation Create Paisley, which has worked closely with Lisa in recent years through a number of song-writing programmes and events.

After unveiling her first music video, Lisa Kowalski said: “I’ve received so much support in Paisley since starting my music career and it only felt fair to give something back to show how grateful I am.

“It was so much fun to film and I was so happy that a lot of people turned up to take part. I absolutely love the way it turned out!

“I really think this video captures the amazing community and talent this town has to offer and the happiness that Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid has caused. Although we missed out on the title, we’ve still come really far and achieved so much in this journey and I believe that this town and the people in it will only continue to excel.”

The release marks the end of a successful year for the young musician after she reached the final six of Salute Music UK’s Top 100 competition in October.

Lisa’s original song “I Do” was selected by a panel of music industry judges to be one of 100 songs from over 2000 entries in the competition.

Renfrewshire Council Leader and Convenor of the Leadership Board, Councillor Iain Nicholson said: “Lisa’s video really captures the pride of Paisley and the positive journey around the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid – and it’s great to see another fantastic project benefiting from Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

“The CHE Fund has already supported amazing talent in the area, such as filmmaker Morgan Spence’s spectacular Lego animation about Paisley, a collaboration between local group right2dance and the internationally renowned Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company and much more.

“This funding is an important part of the legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and will continue to shine a spotlight on local talent across Renfrewshire.”

Applications for the next round of Renfrewshire’s CHE Fund should be submitted by February 12th 2018.

You can watch Lisa Kowalski’s video for “Hearts of Gold” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F19NLO8NsPs&feature=youtu.be

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The legacy of Paisley’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid endures with Culture, Heritage and Events Fund

The legacy of Paisley’s 2021 bid for UK City of Culture continues with public applications invited from community projects for funding from Renfrewshire Council’s flagship cultural grants programme.

The Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund is available for organisations looking to stage a cultural event.

One of the key legacies of the town’s bid, it has so far supported 80 projects to the tune of more than £630,000.

Paisley was the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition alongside Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, which took the title.

The CHE fund aims to raise cultural ambition, enhance participation and unlock creative potential in Renfrewshire.

Application deadlines have just been approved by Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board for the next four rounds of funding.

New applications for 2018/19 will be considered at three levels, from £1,000 and under, from £1,000 to £10,000 and over £10,000.

The first round should be submitted by February 12th 2018, with a decision by 24 April.

A further three rounds will follow, on May 10th, October 10th and December 10th.

The initial fund amount of £500,000 was doubled to £1 million in February this year, with the first five rounds of funding attracting a total of 242 applications from businesses, communities and cultural organisations across Renfrewshire and Scotland.

There have been total funding requests of around £3 million.

Voluntary or community organisations, schools, colleges and universities, independent artists and makers, artist’s collectives, cultural organisations and networks and business, including creative industries, can all apply.

Projects to have received funding so far include teenage animator  Morgan Spence’s Lego video about Paisley and a collaboration between local group Right2Dance and the internationally renowned  Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company .

The projects should contribute to regeneration and can show imaginative use of the townscape or buildings and enhance the annual cultural calendar.

Strengthening cultural capacity –and showcasing the talent of Renfrewshire are among the other objectives.

Renfrewshire Council Leader and Convenor of the Leadership Board, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The UK City of Culture contest may have come to a close but the CHE Fund continues as one of the key legacies of Paisley’s bid.

“Renfrewshire has a great creative scene and the 2021 bid shone a spotlight on that and let people see what was out there, and the CHE Fund will keep allowing that to happen.”

The fund can support a range of activities, such as training and cultural learning opportunities, new and one-off events or enhancements to existing festivals and bodies of work.

For more information on the CHE Fund, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk.

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Paisley UK City of Culture bid helps Renfrewshire to 25% visitor increase

New figures show visitors to Renfrewshire rose by 25% in 2016 – with the news hailed as proof Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid boosted the town.

Paisley missed out on the cultural title last week after a two-year campaign – but the stats, contained within a new masterplan aimed at turning the area into one of Scotland’s key tourist destinations – show the positive impact the bid had.

The sharp rise – with 1.7m visitors last year – means Renfrewshire increased its visitors at a faster rate than other areas with the Glasgow region.

The new Renfrewshire Visitor Plan aims to build on that, setting a series of actions aimed at bringing an extra 590,000 day visitors to Renfrewshire by 2020.

The report – rubber-stamped by members of Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board – includes the following key achievements:

– a new destination brand and website will be launched in early 2018, having been developed in consultation with local people and leaders across Renfrewshire;

– Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 campaign took awareness of what the area has to offer to new levels – with a media reach of 277 million people, including visits by foreign journalists;

– more than 1.1m people attended events or festivals in Renfrewshire over the past five years, with numbers growing by 25% and 23% in 2016 and 2017. This year saw a third of attendees from outwith Renfrewshire, a 93% satisfaction rate, and £1.3m pumped into the local economy;

– new partnerships have been developed with regional and national agencies and detailed work has taken place to better understand the area’s target market;

And key actions listed to help take the area’s visitor economy forward over the next three years include:

– expanding the area’s events programme, with Renfrewshire already due to host the British Pipe Band Championships each year until 2021, and the Royal National Mod in 2021 or 2022, growing existing events such as the Halloween festival and The Spree, and bidding for new events;

– targeting Renfrewshire’s unique cultural and heritage assets to potential visitors, and working with partners to make sure Renfrewshire’s offer is included in national campaigns;

– supporting a growth in new accommodation, working with transport agencies to make it easier to get here and get around, and working with partners to share data, knowledge and training;

Councillor Iain Nicolson, chair of Renfrewshire Council Leadership Board said: “Our disappointment at missing out on the UK City of Culture 2021 title was eased by the knowledge the area is in a stronger position for having bid.

“The new Renfrewshire Visitor Plan shows work to build a new visitor economy is already well under way and gives a clear plan for how the public and private sectors can work together to build on that.

“There’s no question Paisley and Renfrewshire have had their challenges in recent years – but we can address that by promoting the things that set us apart to bring new footfall into our town centres.

“The Paisley 2021 bid was part of a wider plan to do that – the area’s profile has perhaps never been better or higher and awareness of our unique cultural and heritage assets has moved to new levels.

“The area was once the centre of a global industry and the legacy of that is still around us in our buildings and museum collections – while the outlying areas of Renfrewshire offer a wide range of historical gems and great outdoor days out.

“For Renfrewshire to have already recorded a 25% increase in both visitors and event attendees in 2016 shows the extent to which the bid has already delivered results.

“That work was always going to continue regardless of the outcome of the 2021 bid – we now have a great platform on which to build.”

Paisley’s work has also been endorsed the head of Scotland’s tourism authority, with Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland adding: “While it is disappointing Paisley has not been named the 2021 UK City of Culture there is still much to be positive about.

“The bid has transformed Paisley’s reputation, and now Scotland, the UK and the world are all becoming more aware of its fantastic cultural offering.

“2017 saw the town host world-class events like The Spree and Weave Festival, while we can look forward to The Royal National Mòd and the British Pipe Band Championships next year.

“I’d like to say a massive well done to everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to showcase the town’s wonderful cultural offering.

“This is just the beginning of Paisley’s transformation and I look forward to the town’s continued development and all the wonderful events and activities that will come with it.”

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First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture  bid will lead to ’ lasting benefit’ for the town.

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall Lit in anticipation of the City of Culture 2021 result. 7.12.17

The First Minister has led an outpouring of good wishes for the town with the close of the competition.

Paisley was the sole Scottish place on the shortlist which included Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, who took the title, announced live on BBC’s The One Show in front of a live TV audience of millions.

The contest saw Paisley involve 34,000 residents in the bid across a two year journey to change the town’s future for the better using the town’s unique culture and heritage story.
The First Minister said: “Everyone involved in the Paisley bid, from bid director Jean Cameron to the many people who have been involved
formally and informally over the last two years, can be rightly proud of their efforts.
“To gather the support of businesses, cultural and community groups, and secure the involvement of more than 30,000 people is a tremendous achievement.
“Although they will naturally be disappointed at the result, I believe the bid will lead to lasting benefits for Paisley, in terms of its profile and cultural life, and that is what we should focus on today.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson also sent her best wishes to the town and praised the bid.
She said: “Everyone involved should feel a great deal of pride in the way they put forward such a positive case. It show Paisley is a place on the up.”
She added that the bid means the town will continue to be a ‘magnet for jobs and investment.
A wealth of other political and community voices also sent supportive message to the town.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop  tweeted: “Paisley2021 and all Buddies have made us all proud of
Paisley- you have unleashed a cultural and  creative energy which will propel you on.”
Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell said: “Massive commiserations to Paisley 2021 but you’ve achieved so much during the bid and it will be a springboard for the future. You are a credit to Scotland.”
The University of Glasgow added its voice on social media to tweet: “So disappointed for neighbours Paisley 2021 missing out on being named UK City of Culture2021 – congratulations to Coventry 2021.”
Artist Matt Baker said: “Thank you Paisley 2021 you have held a mirror up to all that is brilliant about Scottish culture and utterly redefined the way the country now sees you.”
Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard tweeted: “Huge commiserations to all the Buddies and the Paisley 2021 team who worked so hard to be crowned City of Culture 2021.
“The passion and inspiration shown by all involved has been fantastic and you should all be proud.”
The Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ros Kerslake, said: “There has been an incredible level of support and passion from across communities – a testament to how special the town is and how excited people are for its future.
“Heritage is of course a key part of what makes Paisley unique and we look forward to continuing to invest money raised by National Lottery players into projects across the town.”
Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outcome is of course disappointing but we are still in a great position compared to where we were two years ago. Our public and private sector partnerships are far stronger and there’s so much goodwill and momentum created by the bidding process.  This is a great opportunity to capitalise on that enthusiasm and renewed confidence for the good of the visitor economy and tourism, as well as the town centre economy.
“The key thing is to maximise that opportunity and take advantage of where we’re at now through the bidding process.”
Sharon McAulay from the Paisley-based STAR Project said: “What an amazing journey we’ve had! Yes we’re gutted we didn’t win but we’re also proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Paisley’s journey is far from over. We’ll continue to be brilliant, creative, and full of potential and our plans to transform our town will also continue. Paisley has great things ahead and my belief in what we can achieve together remains steadfast and true. “
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COMMENT ON UK CITY OF CULTURE 2021 DECISION

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.”

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‘Our journey will continue’ – official Paisley reaction as UK City of Culture 2021 title decided

The team behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 have thanked the people of the town for their ‘incredible effort’, while promising Paisley’s journey will continue – after Coventry was tonight named the next UK City of Culture.

Paisley was the only Scottish place to make the shortlist for the 2021 title, awarded every four years by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

But Coventry was chosen as the successor to current host Hull, announced tonight by UK Arts Minister John Glen and chair of the judging panel, Brookside creator Phil Redmond, to a live TV audience of millions on the BBC’s The One Show.

Hundreds of members of the local community and 2021 bid partners had gathered to hear the live announcement at the Paisley HQ of the University of the West of Scotland.

Paisley’s bid was part of a wider plan to transform the town’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story as the one-time home of the world’s thread industry and the place which gave its name to the globally-recognised design icon, the Paisley Pattern.

And bid bosses spoke of ‘heartbreak mixed with pride’ after a two-year campaign which energised the town – while promising the momentum created by the bid will continue.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “We are of course heartbroken not to win the title as we know how much the people of the town poured into this – but at the same time those hearts are bursting with pride at what Paisley achieved in the past two years.

“Our warmest congratulations go to Coventry – they pulled together a really impressive body of support from their partners and we wish them all the best for 2021.

“We also want to thank DCMS and the judging panel for giving us the chance to show the world what makes Paisley special – taking part in the competition was a really positive experience for everyone.

“More than 34,000 people – equivalent to almost half of Paisley’s population – added their voices and ideas to the town’s bid….and our thanks go to every single one of you for an incredible effort and those ideas will still be taken forward.

“We are proud to be the only town to ever make the shortlist and by some distance the smallest place to ever get this far in the competition – few places of Paisley’s size can claim to have given the world so much over the years, and the town punched above its weight once again.

“Our bid was based on a belief that culture changes people’s lives, and that by harnessing that power while promoting what sets us apart, Paisley can change its future for the better – and the people of the town made that vision their own over the past two years.

“The incredible energy they created and the new partnerships they have formed will still be channelled in that direction. The next chapter in our story is only just beginning.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board Councillor Iain Nicolson added: “We were very much in it to win it – but the disappointment of missing out is eased by knowing how much stronger we are for taking part.

“The bid was part of a bigger plan to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage assets to make it a key destination for visitors and events while reigniting the creativity spark which is in our DNA – and while winning the bid would have accelerated the journey, that journey will continue.

“The bid boosted Paisley’s reputation, created new awareness of why we matter to Scotland, the UK, and the world, and raised our profile to unprecedented levels, while giving locals a reason to believe in Paisley again.

“We now have a platform from which to attract the type of footfall, investment and partnership we couldn’t have attracted before – something which is already happening as a result of the bid, with Paisley seeing a 25% rise in both visitors and event attendees in 2016.

“Work to revitalise our town centre and economy is already happening– with a £110 million investment in the town centre and our venues under way, and £276 million of major infrastructure projects taking place in Renfrewshire as part of the Glasgow Region City Deal over the next decade.

“We are also reinventing our textile heritage for the 21st century while bringing more visitors here by building on our already-successful events programme and launching a new destination brand in 2018.

“And the £1 million Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has allowed the local community to define culture on their own terms – and that remains as a key legacy of the bid process.

“We thank everybody who played a role in making this happen – because Team Paisley can from here still achieve great things.”

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Derek Mackay MSP Comments – UK City of Culture 2021 Result

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Final messages of support pour as Paisley waits on UK City of Culture 2021 decision

The people of Paisley now have just hours to wait to find out if their town will be crowned the next UK City of Culture – as a deluge of support for Paisley pours in.

The winner of the 2021 title will be announced live on BBC’s The One Show on Thursday evening from current host Hull.

Paisley is the only Scottish place – and first-ever town – to make the shortlist for the 2021 title, awarded every four years by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, along with Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

And the town has seen an outpouring of best wishes – with a DCMS-endorsed social media focus on Paisley generating a total reach of almost 300,000 people from the Paisley 2021 accounts in just 48 hours on Monday and Tuesday.

There was also backing from cultural, political and media heavyweights including broadcaster and former director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor, who said: “I think it is a credible candidate for the award, and I hope it wins.”

There was also support from former Downing Street director of communications Alastair Campbell – who has multiple connections to the town – and said: “Creativity and spirit remain intact in Paisley and the UK City of Culture bid has captured this.”

The town’s bid is part of a wider plan to transform its future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story as the one-time home of the world’s thread industry and the globally-recognised design icon, the Paisley Pattern.

And Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron has sent a final message to supporters ahead of the decision.

She said: “We’ve had some fantastic support in the past few days – as we have throughout the bid – and we thank everyone who has joined Team Paisley for this massive moment in our history.

“The two years since Paisley launched its UK City of Culture 2021 bid have been a wonderful journey and it’s been an honour to have been part of it.

“The bid has already changed Paisley for the better – taking our profile to new levels, raising awareness of our unique and overlooked stories, transforming the town’s reputation, and giving a sense of self-confidence back to a town which has suffered many blows in recent years.

“And it’s been a grassroots mass movement. People throughout Paisley and beyond have united behind a shared vision for the town and defined what culture means to them.

“Put simply, there is nothing with greater scope to transform Paisley’s future than winning this title, and the economic and social legacy it will leave.

“It will harness the power of culture to improve health, well-being and life chances, and will change lives in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities.

“Having been in Hull this week for the final presentation to DCMS we’ve seen at first-hand the massive investment which has flowed in ahead of their year in the spotlight and the enthusiasm local people have for being UK City of Culture hosts.

“While Paisley can and will use its unique selling points to drive new footfall and make the town a key destination for visitors, events and creative industry no matter what happens, the boost from hosting the 2021 title will turbocharge our journey.

“With an international airport on our doorstep and major investment in our town centre and historic venues confirmed, we will be ready to host a party in 2021 to which everyone is invited – and a warm Buddie welcome is guaranteed.

“We send our best wishes to our friends in our fellow bidding places and we thank DCMS for giving us this platform to show why we matter to Scotland, the UK and the world.”

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create and sustain more than 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

Since Paisley’s bid launched in 2015, more than 34,000 people – almost equivalent to half the town’s population – have engaged in conversations around it.

The bid has also been backed by more than 200 businesses, including big names such as Glasgow International Airport, global drinks giant Diageo and the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer Coats PLC.

Renfrewshire Council has also confirmed a £46m investment in venues and town centre infrastructure to get the town ready to host, while the Scottish Government has confirmed financial support if Paisley wins the title.