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Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs has today welcomes Paisley’s bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021.  Having met with representatives of Renfrewshire Council on 27th October to discuss the bid, Ms Hyslop believes that there is a strong case for a Scottish bid winning and Paisley with it rich tradition and heritage in music and textiles to name but a few areas, it would be a great host of the UK City of Culture in 2021.  She went onto to say that we must learn from the bid Dundee submitted to host the 2017 UK City of Culture, ultimately losing out to Hull.  These comment speaks to the partnership and sharing of experiences Paisley’s MSP George Adam is keen to see during Paisley’s bid.

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Speaking on the Cabinet Secretary’s comments, George said, “I was pleased to hear the Cabinet Secretary welcome Paisley’s bid and I’m sure she will be keen to work with our town, giving us the best opportunity to win this coveted prize.  I attend both the launch of the Paisley 2021 bid in the Abbey 2 weeks ago and also attended a meeting held by Paisley First giving local business people the chance to be introduced to the Paisley 2021 bid.  At the meeting, Project Director Jean Cameron spoke of her vision for Paisley 2021 and how we can all work together to achieve a winning bid and I hope to meet her again to discuss this further in the coming weeks.

“Paisley has too much to offer in terms of culture.  We have a wealth of world renowned musicians from our great town including Gerry Rafferty and Paolo Nutini.  We have great actors hailing from our town including David Tennant and Carmen Pieraccini.  From a creative stand point, we have Steven Moffat who currently writes both Sherlock and Dr Who television shows.  And in art, we have John Byrne and Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, Sandy Stoddard to name but a few.

“This is just some of the talent to hail from our town to achieve international acclaim.  However, in Paisley any day of the week you will see culture all around our town, from the UK’s largest youth theatre group PACE, to the reading groups, open mic nights and historical societies that meet in our pubs and café’s.  We really do have so much to offer and this bid will simply add to what already is on offer in our historic town.”

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A real festive treat to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, the stars of the feel-good show Christmas Crooners will perform their version of the Christmas classics of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, amongst others, at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 11 December.

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Ideal for the whole family, Christmas Crooners features a fantastic cast of West-End singers, backed by the talented band The Jazz All-Stars, ready to inject you with a hearty dose of Christmas cheer as they perform over 30 of everyone’s best loved Christmas hits as well as original arrangements of popular swing tunes.

With a set designed to resemble the cosiest of homes – complete with a Christmas tree, rocking chair and crackling open fire – and a performance staged to the likes of the legendary Andy Williams Christmas Shows, this delightfully energetic, banter-infused production will leave you with a memory special enough to last the whole season.

Christmas Crooners will perform at Paisley Town Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 11 December. Tickets are £16 (£14 conc) + bkg fee* and are available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 orwww.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

A pair of 19th Century weavers’ scissors from the Sma’ Shot Museum were used on Thursday to cut a giant shop label and mark the official opening of the new InCube Shop. The mix of old and new emphasised the link between Paisley’s traditional crafts and InCube’s contemporary design.

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Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, declared the shop open for business and said: “InCube is developing 11 growing businesses in Paisley and seven of them are selling their wares in this shop. The textiles, art and design on display here echo the standards of excellence, craftsmanship and creativity which has characterised Paisley for centuries.”

The shop, at 9b Gilmour Street, sells fashions and textiles from: Amy McGregor, Vonnie Designs, children’s clothes by Treetops Boutique, bridal accessories by Bella Brill, Art by DOM Art, Houlahan guitar accessories and hats from Pea Cooper. All businesses are part of Invest in Renfrewshire’s business incubator, InCube, where they are receiving a year’s support to kick start their enterprises.

The InCube shop’s window has been dressed to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 with brilliantly coloured threads linking the modern products with a vintage sewing machine.

Councillor Macmillan continued: “Entrepreneurs are vital to Renfrewshire’s economic growth. This is Global Entrepreneurship Week and I’d like to encourage any residents who are thinking about starting their own business to contact Invest in Renfrewshire and tap into the support we can offer. In the meantime, I congratulate all the InCube creative enterprises and wish them every success as part of Paisley Town Centre.

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Renfrewshire’s business community has gone global this week, joining 160 other countries and around 10 million people worldwide with a programme of events designed to encourage and celebrate entrepreneurship.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest campaign of its type. Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging people to consider starting up their own enterprises.

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Here, the council’s business support and employability partnership, Invest in Renfrewshire has joined forces with local partners including Business Gateway and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce to offer a programme of talks, networking opportunities and seminars for people who have – or are thinking about starting – their own businesses.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said; “Renfrewshire has always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and Invest in Renfrewshire is committed to helping small businesses to flourish here. Many of our Global Enterprise Week’s events will take place in the InCube at 27 High Street, Paisley where 11 young businesses are thriving with a year of practical support from the council.”

This week, Renfrewshire’s enterprising events include sessions about business planning, finance, marketing and managing growth. There are also opportunities to discuss the particular challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and social enterprises.

“Renfrewshire will benefit from the tremendous opportunities that will be generated by £274m City Deal investments in infrastructure, by our town centre regeneration strategies and by the continuing work of Invest in Renfrewshire. This will be fertile ground for young businesses which, in time, will become the cornerstone of our local economy. I’d encourage residents who might be thinking about starting their own enterprises to take advantage of this week’s events and help to build Renfrewshire’s economic future.”

Small business owners and potential entrepreneurs can find encouragement, advice and support from Invest in Renfrewshire. Call 0300 300 1180 to talk to an adviser. To find out more about Renfrewshire’s events during Global Entrepreneurship Week, visit investinrenfrewshire.com.

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Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 today took a step forward as proposals including a £56.7m transformation of the town’s museum were given the green light.

The ambitious plans to turn the existing Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based on the town’s unique textile history are among a package of measures designed to put people at the heart of the bid.

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Councillors on the Economy and Jobs Policy Board today approved a wide-ranging package of funding, including:

– £15m towards the museum revamp, with an application for a further £15m to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund;

– a two-year sponsorship deal with St Mirren which will see the local football club change the name of their stadium to support the bid;

– £3.7m to fund the fit-out of a publicly-accessible museum store in a vacant unit on the town’s High Street;

– a £500,000 culture, heritage and event fund to support the local creative community and tap into the town’s cultural potential;

– another £2.7m earmarked from existing resources to support the potential development of a new library in the town centre;

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 was publicly launched last week with an event in Paisley Abbey, at which the new Paisley 2021 brand was unveiled.

The museum revamp is the flagship project of the council’s ambitious plans to transform Paisley’s future using culture and heritage, and is intended to be the catalyst for new town centre business to spring up around it.

The proposals would see an extension built into the hillside beside the building – and experts believe the project would triple visitor numbers to 150,000 per year, creating almost 250 jobs and generating £89m for the local economy.

The new museum store – due to open in 2017 in the basement of the former Littlewoods store on Paisley High Street – will make items not on display at the main museum available for the public to see, and will provide educational benefits.

And the culture, heritage and events fund will allow local people and groups to apply for grants to run events which contribute to the City of Culture bid.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This is a hugely significant day for Paisley and Renfrewshire – the measures approved by councillors will take the ongoing rebirth of Paisley town centre to an entirely new level.

“Through careful management of our own resources, the council has been able to set aside funds which will go a long way towards transforming the town into a thriving destination for heritage and cultural tourism and business.

“Of course the museum project doesn’t depend on winning UK City of Culture 2021 – we will deliver on our regeneration plans if we win or not, albeit the title would turbocharge that process.

“One of the key aims of the bid is to build confidence and pride in everything Paisley has to offer – this town’s contribution to the world has been absolutely massive and I don’t want anybody to be shy in shouting about it.

“The fantastic reaction we have had to last week’s launch of the UK City of Culture 2021 bid from the local community and beyond shows people see that.

“And working in partnership with St Mirren we will be able to help spread that message to a massive audience throughout Scotland and the UK.

“The measures approved today – in particular the creative fund – means the people of Paisley now have the route through which they can make the bid their own and I want them to do that. Together, we can make this happen.”

For more information about Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, see the new website at www.paisley2021.co.uk

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Backing for Paisley to be UK City of Culture 2021 has poured in just hours after the town launched its bid in the historic surroundings of Paisley Abbey.

Performances from PACE Youth Theatre Company – who delivered a production specially commissioned for the bid launch – as well as the Grant McFarlane Band and the RockUs Community Choir, showed how culture is thriving in the town.

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Broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani, who went to school in Paisley, introduced a group of bid ambassadors which included Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board; David Wallace, Executive Director of PACE Youth Theatre Company; Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce; Sharon McAulay and Emma Richardson of the local STAR Project; and newly-appointed Bid Director Jean Cameron.

The identity for the Paisley 2021 bid was unveiled by a group of local school pupils who will be aged 21 in 2021.

Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “There is no single voice for Paisley, we are a community of voices, and that message was delivered loud and clear.

“We are not reinventing Paisley; the bid is utterly authentic. It’s about our historic buildings like the breathtaking Abbey, the famous and the historic cultural figures produced by the town and also the spirit forged on the hard work and enterprise of the women of the mills. Our Paisley 2021 brand encapsulates this, inspired by perhaps the most famous thing we gave the world – the Paisley Pattern.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery ids=”27945,27946,27947,27948,27949,27950,27951,27952,27953,27954,27955,27956,27957,27958,27959,27960,27961,27962,27963,27964,27965,27966,27967,27968,27969,27970,27971,27972,27973,27974,27975,27976,27977,27978,27979,27980,27981,27982,27983,27984,27985,27986,27987,27988,27989,27990,27991,27992″ columns=”3″ indents=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“Our ambitions are becoming a reality as we get set to put in motion a £56.7m planned investment aimed at placing Paisley Museum on the world stage. Now is the time to reach out to our communities across Paisley and Renfrewshire and build this bid.”

He added: “Paisley’s famous weaver poet Robert Tannahill said: ‘When hope persuades, and Fame inspires us, and pride with warm ambitions fires us. Let reason instant seize the bridle’.

“So we are counting on everyone here today to seize that bridle, be Paisley’s ambassadors and to play their part in unlocking Paisley’s potential.”

Backing for the campaign has been flooding in on social media with Twitter users from as far afield as Texas and Thailand following@Paisley2021 and sharing their support with #Paisley2021. A new website outlining the bid went live this morning atwww.paisley2021.co.uk.

Shereen Nanjiani said: “I am a proud Buddie! I am wearing the Paisley Pattern today, and am very proud of the town and its people.”

Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “I grew up in Ferguslie Park, on Tannahill Road, named after Paisley’s famous poet and my belief in the transformational power of culture was nurtured in this town. Now we need to take the message out to the people of Paisley and of Renfrewshire, and our partners further afield, and ultimately, it will be its people who will make it happen for Paisley.”

Sharon McAulay of the STAR Project, one of the bid ambassadors speaking at the event, said: “Paisley is an inspirational, culturally- rich town full of proud people who carry a strong sense of identity and community spirit through good times and tough. A successful bid for City of Culture 2021 will inspire and energise all of our communities.”

Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help Paisley become the great place it deserves to be – great for all businesses, their employees and their customers. Having been part of Paisley for over 50 years, the chamber fully supports the Paisley 2021 bid and encourages businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors to do the same.”

David Wallace of PACE Youth Theatre Company said: “Bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 is an opportunity to celebrate and to develop the already thriving cultural sector here in Paisley and Renfrewshire whilst creating new opportunities for potential national and international cultural partnerships.”

Further endorsements for the campaign were received from:

“The bid will celebrate the diversity of Renfrewshire’s communities and provide an opportunity to remind the rest of the world what Paisley has done, is doing – and will do next!”
Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire

“Paisley First completely supports the bid for City of Culture status. A successful bid will lead us to re-engage with our prime audience and help us to improve the overall quality of experience in the town centre”.
Sunil Varu, Paisley First

“We can use the process of bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 to leverage social change through cultural regeneration; inspire our artists, musicians and people to tell their stories and demonstrate the depth of cultural engagement we have in the communities we serve.”
Professor Gayle McPherson, Chair in Events and Cultural Policy at University of West of Scotland

“A successful bid from Paisley would highlight the fantastic industrial and commercial heritage that Paisley possesses, how this has contributed to the fabric and skyline of the town and how this business success lives on. Paisley was built on the back of the creative textiles industry and the legacy of this is clear to see in the town.”
Nick Shields, Scottish Enterprise

“Over the years Paisley has raised and taught men and women who have gone on to change the world. Today it remains one of Scotland’s great centres of education, where new generations of young people are equipped with the skills to help them shape the future.”
Audrey Cumberford, West College Scotland

“The announcement of the bid, and indeed the journey and the prize of Paisley City of Culture 2021, is the single most important step that has been made for Paisley. This will put Paisley on the world map where it rightly belongs and will no doubt create a great tourism, education and cultural centre for all to enjoy.”
Tom Stewart, Ashtree House Hotel, Paisley[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Paisley Photographs, all images in the gallery were taken for www.paisley.org.uk by Ian McDonald Photography.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Paisley has put people at the heart of its bid for UK City of Culture 2021 as plans were unveiled today to place its museum on an international stage and support the local arts and cultural community through an innovative creative fund.

The Scottish textile town which changed the world, today unveiled plans for a £56.7m transformation of its flagship museum and also to create a £500,000 cultural pot for the local community.

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Paisley’s internationally-significant museum collections, and its one-time place at the heart of the global thread industry, have inspired the plans to turn the town’s museum into a national showcase of textile and design by 2021.

The museum is the flagship project of Renfrewshire’s long-term regeneration plans for the town. They include:

  • £56.7m plans to transform the museum.
  • a £3.7m world class museum store to support an internationally-significant museum and open up access to all of the museum collections for education and research in the heart of the town centre – a first for the UK.
  • £2.7m earmarked to support investment in developing Paisley’s lending library service.
  • a new £500,000 culture, heritage and event fund to tap into the town’s creative potential.

Visitor numbers to the museum could triple to hit 150,000 with almost 250 jobs created and up to £88m generated for the local economy as a result of the cultural and economic regeneration brought about by the museum transformation alone. They will support Renfrewshire Council’s wider economic, social and cultural regeneration strategy.

The plans were unveiled to coincide with a two-day event to officially launch Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

On Friday 13 November, bid ambassadors joined forces at Paisley’s 850-year old Abbey to issue a rallying call to Renfrewshire and beyond to support the bid.

The town will then host a massive public party on Saturday 14 November with an appeal to revellers to wear the world-famous Paisley Pattern for the Christmas lights switch-on event, topped off by a spectacular seven-minute Paisley-themed light show projected against the Abbey.

A social media campaign to back the bid using #Paisley2021 has started and a new website at www.paisley2021.co.uk goes live today to rally public support.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “We’re putting people right at the heart of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and our new £500,000 creative fund will help them develop and participate in high-quality cultural events supporting our ambitions.

“From the local arts and cultural community, to professional artists and individuals, the fund will help every part of Renfrewshire realise its creative potential between now and 2021.

“Paisley was once at the heart of the global textile industry and by connecting that heritage to the future through a new transformed museum, we aim to bring the world to Paisley.

“The museum will become the cultural, social and economic heart of the town. It will be transformed for tourists and local families alike, and be the base for extensive community outreach supporting weaving, natural history, science and nature.

“By forging links with national museums and international institutions, local art groups and academic partners, we want to put Paisley at the heart of the world’s cultural map.”

The proposals are due to be considered by the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board next week.

He added: “The museum store will be a new anchor destination at the opposite end of the High Street from the museum to boost visitor footfall between the two.

“These plans have also brought the chance to re-imagine the library currently based in the museum complex. Library services are changing. Paisley Central Library serves more offline households than any other in the country from its public computers – so we’ll ask local people what they want from a modern facility in the heart of the town.

“Through a planned financial programme Renfrewshire Council has been able to proactively identify vital funds to deliver the regeneration of Paisley and has committed £22m to develop and promote Paisley as a destination town. The plans we announce today show where we intend to invest much of that resource.

“This is a major, long-term programme that will need wider support generated by a major fundraising effort.”

Bid ambassadors who joined Councillor Macmillan at Paisley Abbey on Friday 13 November have outlined why they believe Paisley should be UK City of Culture 2021.

David Wallace is Executive Director of PACE Youth Theatre – the largest of its kind in the UK with former pupils including Paolo Nutini and James McAvoy. He said: “Arts and culture play a huge role in achieving our social and economic goals through local regeneration, attracting tourists, developing talent, improving health and wellbeing and, just as importantly, changing the perception of a place and its community. Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is our vehicle for change and all Buddies are on board.”

Bob Davidson, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Paisley become the great place it deserves to be – great for all businesses, their employees and their customers. Having been in Paisley for over 50 years, the Chamber fully supports the Paisley 2021 bid and encourages businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors to do the same.”