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.

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.”

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. “

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.”

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.”

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.

It has been part of the fabric of Paisley for almost four decades and now Clark Contracts has backed the town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Sponsers Clark Contacts 23.11.17

Set up in 1978, the firm has grown from a one-man operation to now employing more than 250 staff and boasting a turnover of £80m.

Clark Contracts has joined an impressive sponsor list of 15 organisations, including companies with local roots and global links, who have pledged a combined £300,000 if the town takes the title.

The privately owned construction, refurbishment and maintenance contractor is proud of its training record and even has its own academy which has received recognition, winning The Construction News Awards Training Excellence award for 2017.

The ROCCO Business Awards also recognised Clark Contracts as its Employer of the Year for Renfrewshire.

More than a fifth of the workforce are studying towards formal qualifications including modern apprenticeships and higher education courses and the company also funds a Construction Management, Quantity Surveying and Management Masters course at Glasgow Caledonian University.

In the past five years, 13 staff members have graduated with honours degrees, with the same number set to graduate within the next four years.

Managing Director Gordon Cunningham said: “Having been founded in Paisley and operating here for nearly 40 years, it is our pleasure to back Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture for 2021.

“Over half of our 267 employees are based from our Paisley office and over a quarter of our employees live in Renfrewshire.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Paisley 2021 Executive Bid Team, visited the firm to mark its backing of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Paisley is on the shortlist for the title along with Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea and the decision will be announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which organises the competition, on Thursday evening.

Bob Grant said: “The Renfrewshire business community has embraced Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 because it can see the huge opportunity to reinvigorate our town’s economy. It’s great to see a company with longstanding local roots such as Clark Contracts get on board.

“Like the other firms who have backed the bid, they can see the opportunity to employ new staff, operate in new markets and up-skill their people.

“The business community has also embraced the idea of working with culture and cultural organisations.”

The sponsor list for Paisley’s bid includes international drinks giants Chivas Brothers and Diageo and life sciences company Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Hillington-based haulage firm Gordon Leslie Group branded a truck that has travelled the length breadth of the UK, emblazoned with Paisley 2021 logo.

The world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer Coats, which started life in the town has also backed the bid, while Glasgow Airport marked its formal endorsement of the town’s title ambitions with Paisley themed art work at the check in area.

WH Malcolm wrapped the backs of two trailers with the Paisley 2021 logo to show its support, while intu Braehead, held a Paisley 2021 day with local musicians and youth groups.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Paisley First, which represent more than 900 businesses between them, have also thrown their weight behind the town’s title ambitions, as has the Mount Stuart Trust and a further anonymous sponsor.

They are joined by businesses with local roots, MacAsphalt, Morrison Construction and the Scottish Leather Group.

Member of Parliament and Paisley Rugby Club President Gavin Newlands has presented a framed rugby shirt to Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron to show support for the town’s title ambitions.

Paisley MP Gavin Newlands Psisley Rugby Club 2021 strip to Jean Cameron 1.12.17

The team have been donning the specially-designed Paisley 2021 strips – paid for by sponsorship from intu Braehead – as they compete in Division Two of the West Regional League and other cup competitions.

The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said: “Paisley Rugby Club is very proud to support the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 by wearing the Paisley 2021 colours on our home strip this season.

“The bid team under Jean’s leadership has done the town proud and put together a first class bid that has done so much to lift the town out of the doldrums and make a lot of Buddies feel proud once again, regardless of the outcome.

“It’s for this reason that I was delighted, on behalf of the club, to present this framed Paisley shirt to Jean and the team for all that they have done for the town.”

Paisley is one of five places shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced this Thursday evening by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organises the competition.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley Rugby Club have been great supporters of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and it’s lovely to receive one of the specially branded shirts to mark their backing.

“The club is one of the town’s many great assets and as we await a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title, we wish them every continued success.”

A group of Hull school pupils were met by a giant lion – thanks to one of the places hoping to follow Hull as the next UK City of Culture.

Members of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid team are in Hull to make their final pitch to the DCMS judging panel ahead of the 2021 title decision on Thursday night.

Paisley is the only town and only Scottish place on the 2021 shortlist – with the winner to be announced live on BBC’s The One Show on Thursday night live from Hull.

And the team were met by pupils from Hull’s Paisley Street school – who were delighted to find the fibreglass Paisley 2021-branded lion, part of a public art trail which took over the town last summer.

Passers-by in Hull’s Paragon Square were also greeted by giant Paisley 2021 letters, as members of the bid team handed out flags to locals.

Paisley – the one-time centre of the world’s textile industry and known for the global fashion icon, the Paisley Pattern – is bidding for the 2021 title as part of a wider plan to transform its future using its unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage assets.

Leading the Paisley delegation was Councillor Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, and chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board.

He said: “Paisley’s creativity was once carried around the world as our weavers created the intricately-patterned shawls named after us – and as a major trading route of the time, Paisley will have flowed through Hull.

“With a Paisley Street in the city, Hull is just one of many to have a little bit of Paisley in it, so we were delighted to invite the children of that school down to join us and meet our lion.

“That internationally-significant heritage sits at the heart of our bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – we want to harness the power of our global links to transform the town’s future.

“We have spent the past year watching and enjoying the fantastic journey Hull has been on in the lead-up to and during the city’s year in the international spotlight.

“Hull 2017 has been a fantastic spectacle which sets an example to us all over the power of culture to regenerate a place’s fortunes – and we would love the chance to follow in their footsteps.

“We have a programme planned for 2021 which will celebrate the threads that bind people, communities and nations, as well as what makes Paisley important to the UK and the world.

“And with an international airport on our doorstep we’re easy to reach – so if we are lucky enough to throw a party in 2021, we’d love the people of Hull to come and join us.”

Paisley is joined on the UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist by Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.