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SNP Funding Boosts Teacher Numbers Across Paisley

MSP Praises Education Commitment In Face Of Tory, Labour And Lib Dem Opposition

SNP Government education funding has boosted teacher numbers across Renfrewshire – part of an increase of 543 teachers across Scotland – as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

Teacher numbers in Renfrewshire have risen from 1,633 to 1,656 – while the number across Scotland has increased substantially to 51,513 – 543 more than last year, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers being funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, money that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems voted against.

There has also been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio across Scotland, while skills in reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy are strong – with the proportion of S3 pupils achieving Curriculum for Excellence Third Level or better being between 88% and 91% for each skillset.

Commenting, George said:

“These figures prove that the SNP Government’s approach is working for schools across Paisley and throughout Scotland.

“Despite Tory, Labour and Lib Dem opposition, the SNP is delivering funding aimed at increasing teacher numbers and cutting the attainment gap – and this is already bearing fruit.

“We now have 23 more teachers in Renfrewshire than we did this time last year, and an additional 543 across Scotland. With this record of delivery, it is no surprise that pupils are performing strongly across reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy.

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a key priority of this parliament – and these latest statistics show that our efforts are making progress on this, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers across Scotland being funded by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

“It is important that we don’t get complacent and keep working to improve education in Scotland – but given the clear progress that has been made, it would be good to see the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems dropping their political opposition and getting behind our positive efforts to support our young people across Paisley.”

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Six key sectors to a thriving Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire businesses are forming specialist teams to grow six key sectors of the local economy.

RDC Business Panel UWS 28.8.17

Members of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel – which brings together the region’s business and education experts – have identified the six target areas of culture, health and childcare, manufacturing, skills, tourism and transport.

Now plans are in place to create six groups who will meet in January as they formulate specific strategies for each area of emphasis.

The Leadership Panel was established in the summer to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success. Its membership is drawn from companies large and small across the area together with representatives from the public sector, further and higher education and national agencies.

Its first task is to support the development of a long-term economic strategy for Renfrewshire from 2018-2035 and the sector specific groups will play a key role.

Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland and Chair of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel said: “This panel is about taking action and about each organisation recognising its responsibility to develop Renfrewshire’s economic potential.

“These teams will focus on areas we know are hugely important to Renfrewshire’s economic health and will ensure people with the right knowledge and expertise play their part in accelerating the area’s economic fortunes.”

These latest developments come as Councillors on the Leadership Board today (Tuesday 12 December, 2017) approved a new Renfrewshire Economic Profile, providing bitesize data on how the local economy is faring.

The six-monthly snapshot will be shared online and give councillors a handy tool to track local progress.

The example November 2017 profile shows Renfrewshire’s employment rate at 74.7 per cent, outstripping the Glasgow City Region and higher than the Scottish average.

It also shows a five per cent unemployment rate, again bettering the national position, with average weekly earnings £14 up on the average Scot.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to putting the measures in place which attract new jobs and opportunities to Renfrewshire. The Economic Leadership Panel provides vital strategic direction and the formation of these new teams are most welcome to devise specific plans for these six hugely important sectors to the Renfrewshire economy.

“It is only through partnership working that we can achieve our collective goals and at the same time having this regular profile of our economic performance enables us to make the strategic directions to deliver a thriving Renfrewshire.”

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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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Renfrewshire is the ‘perfect home’ for Scotland’s manufacturing centre

Scotland’s national centre for advanced manufacturing has the ‘perfect home’ in Renfrewshire, according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

Councillor Nicolson was welcoming the Scottish Government announcement today that the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport.

Work to build the £65million industry-led Institute will start in 2018 with the University of Strathclyde as the anchor university and is expected to be the catalyst for thousands of jobs.

It will be the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing district being developed around Glasgow Airport.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

“Renfrewshire is the perfect home for Scotland’s national manufacturing institute and I am delighted that it will be established here,” said Councillor Nicolson. “We offer the right environment for it to flourish, with a strong manufacturing base and highly skilled workforce already in place, complemented by the excellent research expertise across the region.

“This combined with excellent connections by air, land and sea — which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects — make it the ideal choice for this exciting development.”

The Institute is a collaborative project between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council.

It aims to make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing, combining research, industry and public sector expertise to transform skills, productivity and innovation in a sector which already accounts for half of Scotland’s international exports.

Manufacturers in Scotland and worldwide will be able to access the Institute’s services through virtual reality technology.

There will also be a skills academy to enable manufacturing staff to keep up-to-date with new tools and techniques and the Institute will act as a ‘shop front’ inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.

This announcement builds on the development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre which will open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew, developing new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Councillor Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing exports, not least giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“This is an exciting time as we put in place the infrastructure and investment which connects communities, creates jobs and delivers a thriving Renfrewshire.

“The arrival of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a hugely important part of this journey and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”

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Riverbrae School celebrates first Christmas

Riverbrae School pupils are getting into the festive spirit, celebrating the achievements of their very own Special Olympian at the switching on of the school’s Christmas tree lights.

Christmas Tree Light switch on at Riverbrae school 1.12.17

MSP Tom Arthur had the honour of switching on the lights and presenting a special award to 13-year-old Lewis Nicholson for his achievements in sailing at the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Sheffield in August.

 

Head Teacher Catherine Gilius said Deputy Head Teacher Mick Kelly had selected Lewis for the games after noticing his talent in sailing.

 

“Riverbrae prides itself on supporting our unique and talented students so it has been wonderful to see Lewis having this opportunity,” Ms Gilius said.

 

“We’re extremely proud of Lewis and the example he’s set for our students to never let anything hold you back from achieving your dreams.

 

“His success is truly reflective of our school’s ethos to transform the learning opportunities available to children with additional support needs.”

 

The community spirit that has boosted Riverbrae since it opened in August was in evidence at the celebrations, with parents and the community police again supporting the school.

 

Ms Gilius thanked Community PC Gordon Aitken for organising the festive Christmas tree, courtesy of a donation from B&Q.

 

She also thanked parents for volunteering their time to make the festivities a success by wrapping Christmas presents and securing raffle donations.

 

“I can’t thank everyone enough for coming together to make Riverbrae’s first Christmas a special and memorable one,” she said.

 

Riverbrae School was joint-funded by Renfrewshire Council (£10.1m) and the Scottish Futures Trust (£8.7m) and designed to transform the learning opportunities available to children with additional support needs.

 

Photo (L-R): MSP Tom Arthur, Lewis Nicholson, Head Teacher Catherine Gilius.

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Finalised plans to regenerate West End of Paisley

Plans to transform the West End of Paisley into a vibrant new neighbourhood with around 150 new homes will be considered by Councillors next week.

Over the last two years, Renfrewshire Council and its housing association partner Sanctuary Scotland have been developing a detailed masterplan to regenerate the area and celebrate its proud history.

Once home to thousands of mill workers supporting the thriving weaving industry, the west end is also home to the John Neilson Institution, affectionately known as the porridge bowl.

Public consultation this summer signalled strong support for the masterplan proposals and more than 80 per cent of residents backed the moves which would address the high levels of vacant properties and strengthen the close connections with Paisley Town Centre.

Now Councillors at the Leadership Board on Tuesday (12 December 2017) will be asked to give their seal of approval to the final Paisley West End Masterplan.

It sets out the steps to deliver an attractive new neighbourhood comprising a mix of private and social homes, with excellent links to Oakshaw Conservation area and the town centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Convener of the Leadership Board, said: “The west end of Paisley has a proud heritage and today is still home to a close-knit community who value its central location and transport links.

“Public consultation has highlighted a collective desire to draw on these positives and tackle the challenges, making the west end a more attractive place to live and work. We will now consider the proposals further and work towards creating a new neighbourhood which is desirable and distinctive, attractive and safe.”

Sanctuary Scotland has developed cost estimates which have been appraised by the Scottish Government as eligible for its grant support, with almost £12million earmarked for the proposals.

If approved, Sanctuary Scotland would start work next year on a phased development which involves demolition of existing low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor premises on the east side of Well Street, Clavering Street East and Underwood Lane.

Vacant land formerly used as the University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence would be cleared and community growing areas on Sutherland Street would be relocated to accommodate the new development.

All 16 Council tenants affected would be offered suitable alternative accommodation, with a range of options available including new housing for social rent being developed by Sanctuary Scotland at the former Co-Op site on nearby Wellmeadow Street.

Sanctuary Scotland would look to purchase the remaining properties, offering residential owners options including exchanging their property or becoming a Council or Sanctuary tenant.

Businesses in the masterplan area would also be supported to relocate, the Council assisting with the search for suitable alternative premises while the plans include the potential for limited new retail provision.

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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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MP Gavin Newlands presents framed rugby shirt to Paisley 2021 bid team

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.”

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Reading is in the good books for Renfrewshire pupils

Pupils have caught the book bug this week as schools across Renfrewshire took part in the national reading campaign Book Week Scotland.

Raising literacy levels in children and young people across all early years, primary and secondary schools is a significant part of Renfrewshire’s ambitions.

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, a cutting-edge partnership between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde, has supported children and young people to develop a love of reading from a young age.

During Book Week Scotland, families, pupils, teachers and support staff at Todholm Primary School launched biodegradable balloons for each child and their favourite book. The child whose balloon travels the furthest will receive a personal copy of the book of their choice.

S1 pupils at Trinity High School have been raising money for children in hospital by taking part in a read-athon, with teachers also getting involved and making their own reading recommendations.

Kilbarchan Primary pupils took part in an Extreme Reading Challenge, swapped books, read books in their PJs and asked resident author (and Primary Teacher at the school) Lindsay Littleson about why she started writing books.

The Skoobmobile proved to be a lot of fun for Howwood Primary School pupils, with P1 and P2 classes receiving Read, Write and Count bags and older children received a visit from local author Lindsay Littleson.

Kirklandneuk Primary School pupils dressed as their favourite character and took part in fun reading sessions, including a reading lunch and ‘Drop Everything and Read’ events.

Renfrewshire-based author Vikki Gemmell popped into Castlehead High School for a creative workshop with S3 pupils, while Anne Donovan visited Renfrew High to discuss her short story collection, Hieroglyphics.

DIY bath-bomb making and yoga workshops were also held in Renfrew High to showcase different aspects of nourish on top of reading for pleasure.

“Guess the shelfie” also proved popular at Castlehead High, as pupils tried to guess which teacher the bookshelf belonged to.

Everyone at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, took part in a mannequin challenge based on their favourite book, while P7 pupils created a flash mob and P5 pupils learned about storytelling techniques from reading patron Renita Boyle.

P7 pupils at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, created a dance flash mob, while everyone took part in

Schools also held I Am Reading challenges, took part in Bookbugs, visited libraries and held reading assemblies.

Fiona Mackenzie, Headteacher at Kilbrachan Primary School, said: “From extreme reading to cosy corners, the activities during Book Week Scotland has helped to foster a love of reading that will develop life-long literacy skills in order to raise the attainment of all.”

Lindsay Littleson, author and teacher at Kilbarchan Primary School, said: “I really enjoyed talking to the pupils in Kilbarchan Primary about how I became an author. I’m hoping to inspire some young writers.”

Claire Hall, Challenge Leader of Literacy and Numeracy/Principal Teacher at Todholm Primary School, said: “Our Balloon Launch was spectacular and we were delighted with the number of parents, grandparents and carers who attended.

“Family learning sessions were held by each class and familes took the resources home with them afterwards. We had a large queue of parents around the school waiting to come in. We are delighted with the response the event has had.”

Robin Dunlop, School Librarian at Renfrew High, said: “Book Week Scotland is a great opportunity to promote and integrate a reading culture in schools – via interactive and engaging means.

“This year’s theme of health and wellbeing has proved an inspiring subject matter to expand awareness and integrate a reading culture for a healthy mindset.”

Renfrew High are also one of a few secondary schools in Scotland taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – in partnership with Scottish Book Trust and Waterstones – and each day during Advent, one of their pupils will receive a free book.

Renfrewshire is one of nine local authorities in the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supporting the Council’s work to close the poverty-related attainment gap and raise attainment for all.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Book Week Scotland is a fantastic way to celebrate reading in our early years, primary and secondary schools. Getting children and young people hooked on reading from an early age is the aim of the successful Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

“It has already boosted reading levels by empowering teachers to adapt their teaching style as needed to develop a love of reading in all pupils. We continue to build upon our approach to literacy and numeracy as we work towards achieving our ambitions.”

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Leather Company with global links backs Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

The biggest manufacturer of leather in the UK has created a bespoke Visitor’s Book to celebrate its backing of Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley is one of five places shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision announced this Thursday by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organised the competition.

Chief  Executive Officer Iain McFadyen and Director James Lang of Scottish Leather Group (SLG) handed over the embossed leather tome to Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron  as it became the latest private sector firm to back the town’s title ambitions.

Hand crafted by designer Kerr Watson in his Bridge of Allan studio, the book is inscribed with the Paisley 2021 logo in the distinctive bid colours of blue and orange.

Provost Cameron said: “We are delighted that a company with such historic roots and international links is backing the bid for Paisley to become UK City of Culture 2021.

“The support from Scottish Leather Group and the business community as a whole demonstrates the scale of the commitment to the town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

“It’s also wonderful to have such a special memento from SLG which showcases their work and will hopefully be used to capture visitor’s thoughts on Paisley in a winning year of culture.”

SLG is the parent company of a group of leather manufacturing and associated companies which has an annual turnover in excess of £120M.

The group’s Bridge of Weir site opened in 1905 and today houses one of Europe’s largest leather production facilities.

Its five companies include the 110-year-old  Bridge of Weir Leather, which specialises in luxury automotive leathers and Paisley tanners W J & W Lang, which can trace its roots back to 1872. Glasgow-based Andrew Muirhead makes high performance leather for airline interiors, with customers including British Airways, Thomson, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines.

Visitors to the world’s only seven star hotel, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai will also spot SLG’s craftsmanship.

Director James Lang said: “Scottish Leather Group is delighted to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“Having had a presence in Paisley that dates back to 1872, winning UK City of Culture will benefit local businesses, the residents of Paisley and Renfrewshire as a whole.”

SLG is one of 15 organisations to pledge a combined £300,000  should Paisley take the UK City of Culture 2021 title.

The sponsor list includes international drinks giants Chivas Brothers and Diageo and life sciences company Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Hillington-based haulage firm Gordon Leslie Group also branded a truck that has travelled the length and 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 as has the Mount Stuart Trust.

They are joined by businesses with local roots, MacAsphalt, Clark Contracts  and Morrison Construction and a further anonymous sponsor.

Glasgow Airport marked its formal endorsement of the town’s title ambitions with Paisley themed art work at the check in area, 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 while WH Malcolm wrapped the backs of two trailers with the Paisley 2021 logo to show its support.