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Renfrewshire school pupils in unique link up with RSNO as part of Spree festival

Renfrewshire teenagers are tuning up to take part in a unique a link-up with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) which could help them forge a career in the music industry.

Scotland’s national orchestra is staging a two-day Takeover event next week (23/24October) which ends with a special show in Paisley Town Hall as part of the annual Spree festival.

The free concert will include music chosen by Renfrewshire school pupils in advance of Takeover, and will feature works by Handel, Bach, Sir Henry Wood, as well as Greenock-born 19th century composer Hamish McCunn.

Guided by RSNO professionals, around 50 pupils from all 11 Renfrewshire High Schools will work on every aspect of planning and staging the gig.

International-class musicians will mentor their younger counterparts while other pupils will work on marketing, press and PR, as well as fundraising, learning and engagement and stage and orchestra management.

The link-up is taking place as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The second stage bid was submitted on September 29th and a decision is expected in December.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 bid director said: “It’s fantastic to be able to give young people opportunities to get involved in cultural activity and all of the benefits that brings.

“As Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021 it also shows that we can bring artists of international repute here for local creative talent to learn from.

“We’re delighted to be working with the RSNO  and the young people really are getting the chance to learn from the best in the business.”

RSNO Head of Learning and Engagement Samantha Wright said it was a delight to allow young people the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations.

She added: “Takeover provides a rare and valuable experience to those seeking to pursue a career in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know – we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or chief executive among our group.”

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 in Abbey Close during the festival. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

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

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Young People invited to have their say in You Matter Always event

Young people are invited to have their say in an ideas session with professionals on how arts and culture can positively impact mental health and wellbeing.

The You Matter Always event on Friday 20 October from 2-4pm at St Matthews Church in Paisley forms part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The ideas developed will shape a Youth Mental Health Arts Festival in Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018 and will also be included in Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid 2021.

There will be live performances from local musicians Linzi Clark, who is part of the Paisley 2021 bid team and Lisa Kowalski, as well as a short film about mental health.

Alan Clark of Create Paisley, which organised the event, said: “The main thing we are trying to do is give young people the opportunity to engage around topical questions on mental health and the arts.

“We want to ask what would help them with their mental health and wellbeing, what things could be better and what we could do more of in the area.

“We’re also looking ahead to 2018, Scotland’s Year of Young People, and putting some ideas in place around what a young people’s Mental Health Arts Festival could look like. We want them to produce that and celebrate the role of arts and culture in helping them with their wellbeing.

“Our ambition is to grow that year on year towards the UK City of Culture 2021 and to develop a whole programme so we can understand what arts can do for young people. It’s an opportunity to create a legacy for Paisley and for Scotland from the year of culture.”

Other groups who will take part include Youth Services, the Recovery Across Mental Health charity, Active Communities and See Me, which aims to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron who will also take part in the conversation, said: “We know that providing opportunities for young people to experience arts and culture has a positive impact on their lives and mental health and it’s an important element of our UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

“It’s a way that young people who might otherwise feel isolated can have their voice heard and it’s incredibly important for them to have their say.  I look forward to sharing ideas on the day and taking them forward.”

On the evening of the event a special fundraiser will also be held at Blend Coffee Lounge at 7.30pm with Rachelle and Brittany Davies to raise funds towards 2018’s festival.

The free daytime event can be booked at Info:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/you-matter-always-tickets-38724175050?aff=es2

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Ferguslie cooking group backs national poverty campaign

Keen chefs got together in Ferguslie to support Challenge Poverty Week by making their own smoothies.

Held in the Tannahill Centre, the cooking class met with Depute Provost Cathy McEwan ahead of the national poverty campaign to chop up fruit and vegetables and make some spectacular smoothies.

The kitchen equipment was donated by Renfrewshire Council to the cooking class, topping up the funds from the Paisley North Local Area Committee to support the project.

More than a dozen people of all ages attend the cooking class every week, picking up tips on food preparation as well as cooking and freezing meals.

Depute Provost McEwan said: “Tackling inequality that can cause poverty and create barriers to healthy lifestyles and mental health is a key priority for the Council.

“The cooking group in Ferguslie make healthy food together and also spend a couple of hours socialising with one another. It is a fantastic way to feel part of the community as well as learning simple ways to eat healthily.

Maura, who runs the cooking class, said: “The cooking class is good for the people who come along. They look forward to learning more about cooking as well as catching up with their friends and meeting new people.

“The smoothie-making class was tremendous fun as everyone could get involved in making their own specially-blended smoothie to suit their own taste.”

Depute Provost McEwan added: “During Challenge Poverty Week, Renfrewshire will be holding a number of events that members of the public can get involved in and shine a light on how poverty exists and can affect anyone.”

People are asked to get involved in a social media campaign using hashtag #CPW17 by writing their own pledge on poverty onto a piece of paper and taking a selfie to post online.

A special advice event is also running on Thursday 19 October between 10am and 4pm in Johnstone Town Hall for anyone to drop in.

For more information on Challenge Poverty Week, visit www.povertyalliance.org.

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Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian Katharine Ferns is set to call out the catwalk at a charity fashion fundraiser in aid of the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).

Katharine will host the ladies night event at Paisley Town Hall on November 2 to raise money to help families living with the degenerative neurological condition, Huntington’s disease (HD). Fashion show models will showcase clothes from local boutiques and fashion stores.

There will also be Christmas stalls, drinks and nibbles and a variety of fashion pop up shops.

This year Katharine’s critically acclaimed show ‘Ferns is in Stitches’ played to packed crowds at, among others, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Manchester Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and the Vancouver Fringe.

Katharine has been a finalist at many comedy awards in Britain and in her native Canada.

The Paisley based SHA is the only charity in the country supporting families impacted by HD through its network of of HD specialists, a world leading youth support team and a financial wellbeing service.

HD is a complex neurological condition with symptoms that typically begin to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. It causes three main groups of symptoms: changes to thinking processes – a type of early onset dementia, loss of muscle control and involuntary movements which lead to loss of speech and swallow along with mental illness. Those impacted by HD may eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, make decisions or care for themselves and will eventually need 24 hour care. It is also hereditary with each child of those diagnosed at 50% risk developing the disease. There is no cure.

It is estimated there are around 1100 people living with HD in Scotland and between 4-6000 potentially at risk.

‘This is shaping up to be a brilliant night at a great venue and the first 80 tickets sold also get a free gift from our exhibitors, so get your tickets early,’ said SHA community fundraising officer,’ Gemma Powell.

Tickets are £10 from fundraising@hdscotland.org or 0141 848 0308.

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Danny Kyle open stage launches at the Spree Festival

While he was alive, the late Paisley music legend Danny Kyle was a great champion of new talent.

His memory and influence lives on with the Danny Kyle Open Stage at this year’s Spree festival, which offers up and coming musicians the chance to shine.

The free event at the Spiegeltent throughout the 12 day Paisley extravaganza will be broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio 95FM on Liz Clark’s show ‘Travels with my Auntie Liz.’

The top three acts from a total of 15 will compete in a final showcase on Sunday 22nd, with the successful acts offered opportunities including a supporting live stage slot with a more established act and studio time.

Acts taking part this year include Fallen Arches, Rebekah Kirk, The Connections, Bobby Dreams and Lisa Kowalski.

Liz Clark, who was a close friend of Danny’s before his death in 1998, said competition was fierce to perform on the stage, first made famous at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival.

She said: “The acts all get a twenty minute slot to strut their stuff. To get on stage people have to be out there gigging and trying to get their foot on the ladder.

“Danny always encouraged people and believed in everyone being given a chance, When he was alive he used to recommend up and coming acts to folk clubs festivals.

“It’s a free event and is always great fun.”

Danny’s son Rikki Kyle says his dad would be delighted with the legacy he left.

He said: “He used to run a ‘Giez a Break’ club at festivals to give new acts a leg up and it’s something he was very proud of. He would love the fact that the open stage is still doing that in his name in his home town. It’s a great legacy to leave.”

The first event runs from 5-6pm on Saturday 14th, followed by Monday 16th-Wedenesday 18th with the final showcase on Sunday 22nd.

Some of the acts will also take part in The Spree for All Festival Club at The Old Swan in Paisley town centre. The open stage event there will run for the duration of the festival and will feature solo acts, jamming sessions and poetry readings with details found daily on the venue’s Facebook page.

Paisley’s national festival runs from Friday 13th October until and takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021

This year’s event features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini.

Other acts on the bill include indie rockers Frightened Rabbit, and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean .

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 in Abbey Close during the festival. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

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

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Paisley statues yarn bombed

She was infamous for not being amused but even Queen Victoria would have raised a smile as her statue was one of a string across Paisley to be yarn bombed.

Passers-by stopped in their tracks when they saw the legendary monarch, who stands in Dunn Square, sporting a specially created tartan crinoline skirt and traffic cone crown.

The William Dunn memorial was also dressed and given silver knitted cups to mark the fact it used to be a water fountain.

Robert Tannahill’s statue in Abbey Close also enjoyed a makeover with the town’s famous weaver poet dressed in a knitted scarf with musical notes, waistcoat and gaiters.

A knitted lawn with flowers completed the yarn bombing to mark his catalogue of songs and poems celebrating nature.

The installations are part of the Winter Coats yarn bombing project, where a series of local groups worked with textile artists Ashley Holdsworth and Bex Smith to research historical figures and then create a garment for them.

With the support of the NHS’s Network Services, Capability Scotland, the Phoenix Activity Group, Craft to Recover, Laugh n Craft, the Disability Resource Centre and patients from wards at Dykebar and Leverndale all took part.

Their colourful creations were installed to coincide with the start of Renfrewshire’s contribution to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The display of street art also saw statues of Sir Peter and Thomas Coats beside Dunn Square dressed in a Paisley pattern kilt and a waistcoat decorated with thread and ribbon to represent the family’s textiles empire and history.

At the town’s Russell Institute, where local children used to receive their inoculations, some of the infant statues were draped with sock teddy bunting. The cuddly toys were crafted to come with miniature slings and walking sticks in recognition of the institute’s child welfare clinic roots.

The town’s other illustrious textile family weren’t forgotten, with George Clark’s statue given a mortar board in honour of his family’s passion for education.

Renowned ornithologist and poet Alexander Wilson’s statue at Abbey Close was yarn bombed with a bird cage and birds.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The project is a fitting contribution to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival and shows how the different groups all researched and understood the history of the statues and who they commemorate.

“It’s a great way of shining a light on our unique cultural heritage as we bid to be UK City of Culture for 2021. “

The Winter Coats initiative is part of a wider five year project, Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2.

It has also received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland and has a total budget of £4.5m.

Ten per cent of the funding is allocated to a Cultural and Heritage programme which aims to engage the community in the architectural and textiles heritage of Paisley.

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland said: “Thanks to funds raised through the National Lottery, a new sense of belief and pride in Paisley’s past is growing. Fun projects like this, rooted in the town’s historic past clearly demonstrate the creative spirit alive today.

“We have invested in many projects across the town which have seen historic buildings restored, communities exploring their heritage and also confirmed our latest commitment with initial support for the transformational plans for Paisley’s museum.”

Michael Easson from Historic Environment Scotland, which partly funded the project, said: “It’s exciting to see an innovative and fun new initiative to engage people across myriad backgrounds with their local built environment.

“I hope this brings a wider awareness to the Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival as well as the Historic Environment Scotland supported Paisley TH.CARS2 scheme.”

The practice of yarn bombing is thought to have started in the US by Texas knitters who wanted to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects. It’s since been adopted across the globe.

A wider network of groups have also been making scarves to tie onto railings which will be donated to the homeless service in Paisley’s Abercorn Street.

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Pupils supported by their parents heading back to school

An innovative education project is helping Renfrewshire pupils to reach their full potential by inviting their parents to get back into school.

Parents of pupils in three secondary schools – Gryffe, Castlehead and Trinity High – were invited to take part in a pilot of the Parents in Partnership programme between August and October 2016 as part of a series of projects supporting Renfrewshire Council’s ambition to close the poverty related attainment gap.

The pilot project – funded by Renfrewshire Council in association with the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) at the University of Strathclyde –  assessed how a child’s attainment might relate to parental or carer involvement.

CELCIS, who work with local authorities to make lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people living in and on the edges of care and their families, looked at how the programme made a difference for parents and the benefits it had on pupils, with the results published in the report Parents in Partnership 2016 Evaluation.

Parents, who attended school one morning a week for six weeks, said that the flexible model of the programme meant their unique family circumstances were taken into account and they were supported by the Homelink service, who work with identified pupils and their families to improve achievement and attainment.

One parent explained that attending the sessions helped open the lines of communication, while another said it was now much easier to approach the school to ask for support.

Teachers also found that parents were able to read with their children more often once they realised it only needed to involve fifteen minutes of reading and a chat afterwards.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Renfrewshire is ambitious for our pupils. We want all young people to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

“Reducing the impact of poverty on attainment is a key priority for the Council and being part of Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supported by the Pupil Equity Fund, is a big deal for Renfrewshire’s children.

“We’ve already seen results from adopting the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, which has seen teachers adapting teaching styles to develop a love of reading in all pupils.

“We know involving parents and carers in school life is a great way to support pupils, with parents encouraging reading at night and that has a knock-on effect to how well the child does at school.

“The report by CELCIS shows good progress on supporting those who need that extra bit of assistance through school and reinforces that parents and teachers are all working together to provide the best opportunities for children.

“High school is an unknown world for parents, so being able to involve them in the school day and encouraging more communication between teachers and parents has been incredibly beneficial.

“Parents have told us that they have benefitted from understanding high school life, felt they could talk to their child more about school and that they had much more confidence in approaching the school for support, while pupils have also felt they have more support at home.

“We will continue to build on the project, responding to the needs of parents and carers as well as the pupils across Renfrewshire schools.”

Linda O’Neill, Education Programme Lead from CELCIS, who developed this approach, said “We know that working with parents and carers in a meaningful way through school has the real potential to support family learning and improve the wellbeing of both children and their parents and carers.  It’s great to see Renfrewshire Council making a commitment to develop real and lasting partnerships between parents, schools and communities though Parents in Partnership”

All secondary schools in Renfrewshire, including the Mary Russell School, run similar parental engagement programmes.

To find out more about the Parents in Partnership programme evaluation, visit www.celcis.org.


Notes to Editor:

1. Image caption:

Parents from Gryffe and Castlehead high schools with Anne Marie Haddow, Deputy Head at Trinity High School, Chris Anderson, Principal Teacher (attainment) at Gryffe High School, Jim Russ, Education Support Manager at Castlehead High School, Linda O’Neill of CELCIS and Cllr Jim Paterson, Education adn Children’s Services Convener at Renfrewshire Council.

2. To read the full report, visit www.celcis.org/knowledge-bank/search-bank/parents-partnership-programme-evaluation-2017/.

3. Renfrewshire Council Home Link Service aims to help parents engage in supporting their children’s education. Research suggests parental engagement in education makes an important contribution to a child’s educational attainment throughout the school years. This is particularly true for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

4. In Scotland a child’s socio-economic status is the strongest predictor of educational attainment, which leads to a significant gap in attainment between pupils from the least disadvantaged and those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (OECD, 2010). Current research indicates that “only parental involvement makes a significant contribution to closing the attainment gap” (JRF, 2014).

5. CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is committed to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of Scotland’s children living in and on the edges of care. Taking a multi-agency, collaborative approach towards making lasting change, CELCIS works alongside leaders, managers and practitioners to break down barriers and forge new paths in order to change thinking and ways of working with everyone whose work touches the lives of vulnerable children and families. CELCIS builds on national experience to inform its work in different countries around the world and plays a key role in the work of the University’s Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures.

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Basketball Paisley

Basketball Paisley are the biggest and most successful basketball club in Scotland and are looking out for new talent to join their community clubs being held all across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Over 150 young people across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire attended basketballpaisley Community Clubs during the Autumn term and have been competing in our Friday Night Superleague.

Booking for our Winter Term is now open to new and returning players. Whether you have played before or are a beginner visit the link below to book the complete term or a 1-week trial: https://basketballpaisley.class4kids.co.uk/

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Brand-new play area opens as part of £1million investment in Robertson Park Renfrew

A state-of-the-art play area has been unveiled in Robertson Park as part of a multi-million pound investment in Renfrewshire’s parks and green spaces.

Leading playground equipment supplier KOMPAN were commissioned to create the new play area with the aim of improving children’s health, learning and social inclusion in a fun, enjoyable environment.

Young people will be able to play on the only castle structure of its kind in the world as the latest element of the £1million upgrade of Robertson Park was officially opened.

The unique three-towered castle has a rappelling wall, rung ladder, hand over hand monkey bars, vertical climbing net and two separate styles of rope traverse.

The first chance to test out the new equipment went to children from local schools Kirklandneuk Primary and St James Primary, who were able to try out the new castle as well as a five way swing, crawling pyramid, lazy hammock and balance testing supernova.

A track ride tower, giant swing, climbing tower and woodland finger maze are just some of the other exciting pieces of equipment Renfrewshire kids are set to benefit from.

The new play area comes as part of a £2.25million investment to improve the facilities and quality of attractions in Renfrewshire’s parks.

A total of £1million will be invested in Robertson Park and Barshaw Park respectively, with £250,000 being made available for five neighbourhood parks in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The new equipment in Robertson Park is fantastic and I’m sure will prove extremely popular with young people and families.

“We’ve made a significant investment in our parks as we recognise the significance they play in our communities and we are committed to ensuring they are an attractive place to visit and spend time in.

“The £2.25million investment will ensure that our parks are an exciting place for families to visit, both now and for future generations to come.”

The new play area is one of many innovative projects being undertaken in Renfrewshire and the Council has incorporated a community benefits initiative to its procurement process to ensure local communities gain directly from the work.

As part of the contract awarded to KOMPAN, Renfrew Development Trust received a cheque for £1,000 which will provide seating planters and a rest stop for people touring heritage sites throughout Renfrew, starting and finishing in Robertson Park.

Colin Griffin, Commercial Director of KOMPAN Scotland Ltd, said: “We wanted to give children an inspirational play park, very different to more traditional playgrounds by providing our large themed Robinia units.

“Our Robinia wood castles are based on Scottish Castles so it only seemed fitting that Scotland should be the first to experience these castles, making this is a rather special play area.”

For further information on parks in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/parksandgardens

For more information on Kompan visit: www.kompan.co.uk.

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Massed choirs give emotional send-off to Paisley 2021 bid

Paisley’s bid to be the first Scottish winner of the UK City of Culture title was given an emotional send-off today – as hundreds of choir singers gathered in the town centre for a mass musical performance.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron and Jamie Gatherer
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital All images © Gibson Digital 2017.

A large crowd joined more than 150 singers from eight local choirs to mark the bid submission at Paisley Cross for a moving rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme led by local singing star Carol Laula.

Today was the deadline for Paisley to submit its second-stage UK City of Culture 2021 bid to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Renfrewshire town is the only Scottish place to make the final shortlist – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story – and the send-off follows a massive £45.7m town centre investment package approved by Renfrewshire Council on Thursday afternoon which will prepare the town to host the 2021 title.

That includes a £22m modernisation of Paisley’s iconic 19th-century town hall, £10m of public realm and transport improvements in Paisley town centre, £7.7m to upgrade St James Playing Fields to make it suitable for large outdoor events, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre, and £3.5m to turn the disused Galbraiths warehouse in Back Sneddon Street into a new multi-purpose arts space.

The bid send-off comes in the week it was confirmed Paisley Museum is in line for a £4.9m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and on the day a local group – the Paisley Community Trust – unveiled their plans for a cinema and theatre complex in the town centre.

Wild Mountain Thyme – instantly recognisable after being covered by stars including Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Ed Sheeran – was chosen for its Paisley roots, with the modern version based on an original 1820s piece by Paisley’s weaver poet Robert Tannahill, a contemporary of Burns.

The performance saw the bid ceremonially handed through generations of females, set against the song’s refrain of ‘will ye go lassie go’ – including Renfrewshire’s Deputy Provost Cathy McEwan, Paisley resident and former Moderator of the Church of Scotland Lorna Hood, and University of West of Scotland Masters student and singer Sheyi Aina.

It was then handed over to Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron and Lyla Slattery and Ayda Anderson – two P1 pupils from Glencoats and St Fergus Primary Schools, in Ferguslie Park, Scotland’s most deprived area, before being driven off on board a scooter emblazoned in Paisley’s globally-recognised Pattern.

Paisley 2021 bid send off 29.9.17

The musical moment and band was co-ordinated by Tommy McGrory of music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud and featured pupils from Castlehead and Johnstone High Schools, as well as people of all ages from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Singing through the Ages, Cotton St Singers, Renfrewshire Carers Choir, Arkleston Singers, Soundroute Singers, RockUs Community Choir, the Rock Choir and Paisley Musical and Operatic Society.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board Councillor Iain Nicolson said: “Today was a truly historic and inspiring moment for Paisley and it was an absolute privilege to be part of it – the culmination of a two-year journey which has already done so much for the town.

“Paisley is a town which needs a boost – and there is nothing which could do more to deliver that than becoming UK City of Culture 2021.

“That difference will be felt beyond Renfrewshire – we are very much Scotland’s bid, and with huge numbers of visitors expected in 2021 if we win, the benefits will be felt throughout the country.

“The bid is part of a wider plan to harness the power of culture and heritage to transform our town – the town centre investment approved by the council yesterday equips us to welcome world-class artists to our historic venues in 2021, while supporting that wider long-term vision.

“And to have a local group such as the Paisley Community Trust putting forward their own plans shows a shared vision of Paisley’s potential, and that the town is now seen as an attractive place to invest.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added: “Our bid has been themed around the voices of Paisley and today was a spine-tingling way of bringing that to life – the sight and sound of those people joining together as one was an emotional, amazing moment, and one that will stay with me forever.

“It showed everything we want the world to see about Paisley – the quality of our home-grown talent, the contribution Paisley and its cultural figures have made to the world, and the warmth of the welcome visitors will receive if they come to our party in 2021.

“The people of Paisley have backed this bid from day one – more than 34,000, a number almost equivalent to half our population, joined the conversation around the first-stage bid – and today was another stunning show of support.

“As well as the economic benefits, Paisley’s bid will take the power of culture to make people’s lives better to every corner of Renfrewshire and today was a uniquely Paisley way for the people of this town to show how they have embraced that.”

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period while attracting more than 800,000 visitors in 2021.

Current UK City of Culture hosts Hull have seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk