School pupils from Paisley and India have bridged the 4,000 plus miles between them to create unique artwork based on their shared lives.

The Paisley and Jodhpur Digital Tapestry brought together 100 young people from two continents, who exchanged photographs on image sharing website Cluster to gain an insight into each other’s lives.

Like Paisley, the city of Jodphur in the north western state of Rajasthan, has a strong textiles heritage.

The tapestry created by Paisley pupils was unveiled on St Andrew’s Day as the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021. The decision is set to be announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organised the competition, on the evening of December 7.

The installation is the second half of a project, which launched with a Musical Tapestry collaboration between Scottish and Indian musicians, at Paisley’s annual Spree Festival in October .

The concert was supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and was  earlier performed at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, which is twinned with the Spree, thanks to support from the British Council as part of their UK/India Year of Culture 2017.

The tapestry was unveiled by Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron at Paisley Piazza, where it will remain for the next six months.

It was stitched together with thread donated by Coats, whose fortunes were interlinked with the town.

Provost Cameron said: “This is a remarkable public art project which saw young people from opposite ends of the world gain an insight into each other’s everyday lives, transcending any cultural or language barriers.

“It marks the links both places have with the textiles industry and the Paisley pattern and it’s fitting it was unveiled on St Andrews Day, strengthening our bond and links with our friends in India.”

The Scottish group, which involved pupils from Gryffe High, Paisley Grammar School and St Catherine’s, Gallowhill, Todholm and St Margaret’s primary schools, were invited to attend creative workshops with commissioned artist, Fiona Hermse.

Young People from the Bredliand Flexible Learning Centre were also involved and as well as the photographs, pupils created collages, drawings and writing to celebrate both their differences and connections with Jodhpur and India.

The images were turned into a digitized pattern which was then printed onto fabric in the shape of the iconic Paisley teardrop shape.

The Indian participants created a digital image with the same shared photographs from their home in Jodphur  along with artist Yogendra Singh Rajawat, which will be made public there on December 20.

Artists Fiona Hermse said: “The biggest difference the pupils commented on when they saw the Indian photographs was the wonderful colour in them, including the blue houses in Jodphur old town.

“They said the photos made them feel happy and reminded them of summer time, while some of the older children expressed an interest in either a career in the Arts  or travelling to India one day.

Yogendra Singh Rajawat said: “This was a one of kind experience to merge my traditional art form with the life of two beautiful and different cities coming together as one through the young people.“

British Council Scotland Director Jackie Killeen said: “We are pleased to have supported this project as part of the UK India Year of Culture because it has enabled children in Scotland and India to connect with each other around the creation of innovative new work. This is particularly heartening as we look towards the 2018 Year of Young People in Scotland, and we hope the connections that have been formed will continue long into the future.”

The Spree Artistic Director and Lisa Whytock from Active Events, said: “The idea of the digital tapestry was to get young people engaged with each other’s cultures and to connect them through digital pictures.”

Scotland’s connections with the Paisley pattern began via Kashmir where it could be found woven into traditional patterned shawls.

Textile companies in the UK began to produce cheaper imitations of the shawls and production spread to Paisley, whose name was given to the pattern.

 

  • Glasgow Kelvin College students team up with Indian colleagues to host an exciting fashion extravaganza.
  • Paisley Pattern forms the heart of cultural exchange show for Deputy First Minister and VIP Guests in India.

A group of fashion students are heading off to India to stage a spectacular fashion show in the heart of India’s bustling Mumbai.

Students from Glasgow Kelvin College will be meeting up with their counterparts from the Government Polytechnic for Women in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh to reveal their exquisite designs for an invited VIP audience.  

The Show, “Fashioning the Future – Sharing Skills, Culture and Sustainability”, forms a key part of a cultural trip to India and is the climax of a British Council/UKIERI-funded programme where Scottish and Indian students have shared knowledge, skills and experience over the last two years.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, will join guests from key learning and skills organisations throughout India, plus Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, University of West of Scotland (UWS), Glasgow Caledonian University and the British Council.  Focus will be on the bonds which unite India and Scotland and the uniqueness of that relationship in the development of the iconic Paisley Pattern.

There will be presentations around the exciting UWS ‘Paisley Pearls’ project which reimagines the Paisley pattern, with its origins in the ancient Kashmiri pattern for the digital age and Glasgow Caledonian University’s sustainability initiative.

However, the stars of the show will be the fabulous garments designed and crafted by Glasgow Kelvin College’s HN and degree level Fashion Design & Production with Retail students and the exquisite creations from the ten Guntur students.

Glasgow Kelvin has also developed links with two social inclusion projects in India – the globally recognised Make Love Not Scars project which supports the rehabilitation and employment of survivors of acid attacks and the Project Tres campaign which creates opportunities for women survivors of domestic violence.

Joining the models will be survivors from these organisations who will courageously strut their stuff on the catwalk to showcase the myriad of designs and textiles created by the students.

The event shines a spotlight on the great contribution which colleges and their students can make at an international level, expanding their own skills and cultural experience as well as promoting the role they can play in helping develop the global economy in a sustainable and inclusive way.  

Encapsulating the Scottish Government’s ambitions around internationalisation to encourage global citizenship, this visit is another prime example of the valuable contribution to be made by both colleges and universities working together to deliver a world-class model of collaboration, skills and cultural exchange.  

Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said;

“The College is privileged to be a key part of this delegation to India.  We are amazed at the creative skills shown by our own talented students and those of our partners at Guntur Polytechnic.  The students should be very proud of what they have achieved and they are excited to be showcasing their work to the Deputy First Minister and important guests – it’s an incredible experience and opportunity for them all.

“We are extremely grateful to the British Council and UKIERI for making the programme possible and are looking forward to meeting with our partners in India and collaborating with our education colleagues to host a hugely successful event.”

Jackie Killeen, the British Council’s Director, Scotland said;

“Bringing international experience to life for young people in Scotland is at the very heart of our work, so we are delighted to have supported the students from Glasgow Kelvin College to take part in the special cross-cultural event in India.  The project is an inspirational example of a mutually beneficial collaboration between learners in both countries and we look forward to seeing and learning more about their outstanding work.”

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said;

“We are honoured to be part of the delegation and it’s wonderful that the Paisley Pattern is at the centre of such a worthy project that strengthens the links between students in Scotland and India and the bonds between the two countries themselves.

“The Paisley Pattern has had a huge cultural impact and made the name of the town famous across the globe.  As we await a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title, the pattern is as relevant today as ever and is at the heart of plans to transform the town.”

Prof Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland said;

“UWS is delighted to be taking part in this exciting event in Mumbai, in particular collaborating with our partner organisations including Glasgow Kelvin College, Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Government, as part of this visit to enhance the already strong links between Scotland and India. Innovation is key to India’s continued growth and we hope that this visit will enable us to build on our current collaborations and also develop new and positive relationships. UWS’s Paisley Pearls project is a prime example of innovation in digital technologies and we are proud to be part of the Mumbai event and the wider visit to help promote expertise and innovation in Scotland’s education sector.” 

Prof James Miller, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Strategy), Glasgow Caledonian University, said;

“Glasgow Caledonian University’s Fair Fashion Centre, located at our New York college, is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global industry issues into opportunities.

“When considering the impact the fashion supply chain has on other industries – from farming an manufacturing to transportation, real estate and waste management – there are many distinct but entangled elements that must evolve together to create an industry that supports people, planet and profits.

“We’re proud of our mission, as the University for the Common Good, and delighted to be working with Glasgow Kelvin College and the University of the West of Scotland in demonstrating the collaborative approach to higher education, finding real solutions for real world challenges.”

An innovative plan for a film and arts space at Paisley’s Baker Street has been overwhelmingly voted by the public as winner of the national “FutureTown” Design Competition.

Plans to transform a derelict site at Smithhills Street, close to Gilmour Street station, into a new cultural quarter include a flexible 500 seat theatre space and 5 mini-screen film theatre – GFT/ Grosvenor in style with 170 to 70 seats.

An unkempt wasteland currently greets 7 million passenger journeys passing through the town by rail. The potential to transform this site and in doing so the perception of the town is obvious and desperately needed.

A new destination; a new place will be created featuring indoor and outdoor spaces that will make full use of the space to create something truly special.

The new building (designed by award winning architects Stallan Brand) features light cannons designed to create a new skyline silhouette mirroring the famous Paisley Skyline in a contemporary way. Paisley has no better location or possess the imagination and transformational potential than Baker Street.

Gary Kerr, Chairman, Paisley Community Trust  

“We’re totally thrilled for Paisley to win this competition. It’s terrific to see Baker Street Paisley gain widespread recognition and endorsement through a national competition.

A massive thank you to everyone in Paisley, Scotland and further afield who voted for Paisley to win.
What we are creating is everyone’s. A facility, venue, space and hub for the community to use.

It continues to inspire and drive us forward when Paisley people tell us they can’t wait to pop into town again to see a movie or theatrical performance. This award will give those who voted added pride in the town and the project. “

“As we move into our next phase; we’re asking everyone to take Baker Street Paisley forward to the next level with financial backing.

Local and national government as well as Paisley supporting businesses and individuals will all have a part to play. Now is the time to get behind Baker Street Paisley – we’d be delighted to hear from you if you can help.”  

Paisley traders have revealed that the town’s bid to win the UK City of Culture 2021 title has led to businesses receiving a major boost.

Town centre retailers and food outlets have reported an increase in their customer bases and sales since Paisley launched the bid in November 2015.

Paisley 2021 Sponsers 23.11.17

The town was shortlisted for the title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea last July, with a decision expected by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organises the competition next month.

Elaine Templeton co-owns Taste Buds in Lawn Street with sister Susie Mitchell and friend Tracey Johnstone, and took over the business in July this year.

She said: “We’re really pleased with the way the business has been performing and if Paisley wins we’ll only see increased footfall in the town.

“We have the profit and loss accounts from the previous owner for the last two years and you can see a distinct increase in sales.”

She said that the town’s annual Spree Festival in October had a ‘phenomenal impact’ on business and their customer base was increasingly coming from further afield.

Elaine added:  “Recent events like the Christmas Lights Switch-On saw lots of customers from the outskirts of Paisley and from Glasgow, which isn’t something that generally ever happened before.

“When the wee architectural dig was on at Paisley Abbey we also had customers from as far afield as France and Norway.”

Paisley 2021 Sponsers 23.11.17

Blend Coffee Lounge opened in July 2015,, just months before the town submitted its bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Co-director Alan Baird said: “As a new business we’ve been thankful for the bid. It’s generated that extra footfall for us. When people have googled to learn more about Paisley our name has appeared as well and we have benefitted from that.

“We are seeing an increase in business month on month and year on year. How much of that is down to the bid we can’t say for certain, but I don’t think it’s done it any harm, that’s for sure.”

Joe Bisland and wife Tricia set up their second Paisley-based gift shop, the White Cart Company in St Mirren Street two months ago.

He said:  “I think the number of people visiting the town centre has increased significantly. We’ve found the shop is very busy during Paisley’s Winter Festival events and have had very successful late openings with people from out with Renfrewshire come in our shop.”

Paisley 2021 Sponsers 23.11.17

Collette Cardosi, whose family has had a presence in the town for almost 100 years, with a string of eateries including the Pendulum Bar and Grill, which opened earlier this year, said the bid had helped people rediscover the town.

She said:  “The bid is increasing awareness and there’s less negativity about Paisley. You can see a big increase of local people and existing businesses who want to develop Paisley. I’m optimistic about the future of the town.”

Gary McCaw of coffee bar Bianco E Nero , said he has seen his business grow since it opened four years ago in the town centre and added:  “I definitely think the bid is making people think Paisley has something to offer and is bringing them back. I think a combination of good events in the town, good investment from Invest in Renfrewshire and good coverage for Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid are the main reasons we’ve been a success over the last few years.”

Peter Clark, Manager of the Paisley Centre, which has 34 units trading said it too had experienced a ‘flurry of activity’ with four new lettings, including a ladies fashion outlet and a toy shop.

He added: “We are also negotiating with three other retailers, so there’s a definite impact of the bid with more interest in Paisley than we have seen for a long time.”

Paisley First is made up of more than 600 town centre business and its chairman, Ian Henderson, said that in the past twelve months a ‘significant number’ of independent businesses had opened their doors and were doing well.

He added:” There is a real feeling of positivity on the streets of the town centre and this is in no small part due to the success of Paisley being shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of  Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “Things like this year’s Spree Festival saw the audiences coming from further afield this time round, maybe even more national and even international visitors, driven by the profile of the events.

“The business community recognise the potential and can see the huge benefits of the bid.”

Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and it’s been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 cars setting off for the 1500-mile trip to the South of France.

It’ll be the fifth time the town – the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the title UK City of Culture 2021 – will be the only British start point of six European cities.

Pictured Alan Stark and Driver Sandy McEwan in a 1971 Porsche ,Douglas Anderson the Uk Coordinator with his 1961 Triumph Herald ,Tony Fitzpatrick Chief Executive St Mirren Football Club and Rally Driver Iain MacDonald from Kilmacolm in a 1967 Saab 96 with Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron
Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and its been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 Cars setting off for the 15000-mile trip to the south of france.Itll be the 5th time the town -the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the UK city of culture 2021 will be the only British start point of six european cities.
All rally enquiries to Alan Douglas -alan.doug@ntlworld.com
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

Close to a hundred cars in total are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm on Wednesday January 31st in three separate categories.

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

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

Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale events and motoring enthusiasts in a range of interesting cars from over the years will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland, including Aberdeen, Dumfries and Stirling.

Pictured Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron in a 1967 Saab 96
Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and its been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 Cars setting off for the 15000-mile trip to the south of france.Itll be the 5th time the town -the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the UK city of culture 2021 will be the only British start point of six european cities.
All rally enquiries to Alan Douglas -alan.doug@ntlworld.com
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

In January this year a crowd of around 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and fireworks…..and working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland, the organisers are confident of making the start even bigger and better next year.

At today’s official launch of the 2018 event at St Mirren Football Club’s ground, the Paisley 2021 Stadium, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We are delighted to welcome the only UK start leg of this prestigious international event back to Paisley for another year – and it’s great to have the support of St Mirren.

“The cars are always a really popular spectacle which draw a big crowd into the town centre and I am looking forward to waving them off on the night as they head to Monte-Carlo.

“By the time the event rolls around we will know if Paisley has been successful in its bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – events like this one are a huge part of our plans to bring visitors into Paisley and boost the local economy.”

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick added: “Paisley means everything to St Mirren, so we support anything which helps put the town on the map – and Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and this event both certainly do that.

“We enjoyed welcoming the cars to the Paisley 2021 Stadium and I’m sure they will generate another great turnout in the town centre.”

Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011, will be leading the cars off to Monte Carlo in his 1961 Triumph Herald Coupe.

He said: “The Paisley Abbey Start of the Monte Carlo Rally is acknowledged to be the best of all the Rally Starts, with thousands of Paisley buddies cheering the cars and crews on their way to the snowy Alps and on to the sunshine in Monte Carlo.”

Among the entrants who’ll be heading for Monte Carlo in the Historique Class is Iain MacDonald of Kilmacolm, along with Swedish co-driver Patrick Toorell in his 1967 Saab 96.

He’s looking forward to the adventure: “I competed in rallies in the Sixties and Seventies around the UK and more recently in Scandinavia but the Monte has got to be the ultimate and it’ll be a challenge in our 50 year old Saab. It’ll be interesting to set off from Paisley Abbey. I was married there in 1972.”

Also taking part in the Historiques is Sandy McEwen and Alan Stark in a rare 1971 Porsche 914/6 which Sandy has bought specially for the event. Although Sandy has more than 45 years of experience in motorsport including driving single-seaters, GTs, saloons and historics, he describes himself as “a rallying newbie”.

One of the crews in the Classique Class is Albert De May and co-driver Roland De Bargigli from Belgium. They’ll be driving their 1936 Chevrolet Coupe and had originally planned to set off from Lisbon but when that start point was cancelled they opted instead for Paisley.

“I love the UK and especially Scotland so it’s all worked out well. The Paisley start point also gives us the opportunity to travel through more attractive routes,”

said Albert.

All the competing cars will assemble from around 4pm in the precincts of Paisley Abbey on the evening of Wednesday January 31st before setting off at 6pm for the long drive south.

 

More information can be found at www.monte.scot

One of Scotland’s leading construction firms has declared its support for Paisley’s 2021 UK City of Culture bid.

Morrison Construction will make a five-figure contribution should Paisley take the title.

More than 200 companies have shown their support, while 13 private sector organisations have committed over quarter of a million pounds if the bid is successful.

Paisley has been short listed for UK City of Culture 2021, alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.  A decision will be announced in December by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organises the competition.

Morrison Construction is part of the UK-wide Galliford Try Group, and has delivered more than £1 billion public and private sector projects over the last five years, including many schools and hospitals across Scotland.

The company has also been involved in the construction of the iconic Falkirk Wheel and the Queensferry Crossing, which opened to traffic in August this year.

Morrison Construction is also currently working on Renfrewshire Council’s project to rebuild the shared campus of St Paul’s Primary School, Foxlea Early Learning and Childcare Centre and Foxlea Learning Centre in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and member of the Paisley 2021 Executive Bid Team, Bob Grant welcomed the company’s support and said: “It’s great to have a company like Morrison Construction on board as a sponsor of the Paisley UK City of Culture 2021 title bid. We are very near to a decision and the scale of the support from the business community shows how widely the bid has been embraced.

“Firms large and small and many with international links have thrown their weight behind it because they recognise the economic and cultural benefits it brings.”

Morrison has strong links with Renfrewshire and its Community Benefits team has delivered careers presentations and health and safety talks at local schools including St Benedict’s High School in Linwood and Park Mains High in Erskine.

Over the past year in the west of Scotland, Morrison Construction’s Community Benefits activities have included more than 5,000 engagements with pupils and students, and 572 work experience days set up.

The company’s projects across the region have seen the creation of 107 jobs and 92 new apprenticeships through the supply chain.

Morrison Construction’s Regional Managing Director, Eddie Robertson, said: “We are excited about the new opportunities which would be sparked by a Paisley success in the UK City of Culture 2021.

“It would create direct and indirect opportunities for companies like ours to provide the services and infrastructure, with all the following spin-off benefits for communities, education and employment. “We are delighted to be a supporter of the bid.’’

Other firms to have backed the bid include drinks giants Diageo and Chivas Brothers.

Companies with international links like Glasgow Airport, intu Braehead and Thermo Fisher Scientific have also backed the town’s title ambitions. Coats PLC, the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer and which still retains a presence in Paisley has also declared its support.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Paisley First, which represent 900 businesses between them have also backed the bid, along with local companies the Gordon Leslie Group, Clark Contracts, MacAsphalt and Scottish Leather Group, the largest manufacturer of leather in the United Kingdom.

Trucking company WH Malcom branded two trailers with the Paisley 2021 logo, which have travelled the length and breadth of the UK.

The skies above Renfrew came alive with the Christmas Lights Switch-On and a sensational fireworks finale as the countdown to the festive season begins.

Crowds flocked to the town centre on November 25 to enjoy a host of free family activities in Renfrew Town Hall, including Big Top children’s drop in craft workshops.

The event comes as Paisley bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021 and is itself part of the area’s Winter Events programme.

Little ones were enthralled by Ipdip Theatres ‘Ssh, Elves are very shy’ interactive shows.

Santa was on hand in his grotto to take Christmas list requests from boys and girls, with his trusty reindeers also proving popular.

Kirklandneuk Primary School Choir added to the festive atmosphere while Renfrew Burgh Band entertained the crowds with a 30 minute performance.

A funfair added to the excitement while DJ Gus from Pulse FM entertained the crowds from the live outside stage.

A winner of the Provost’s Christmas card competition, school girl Erin Murray from Arkleston Primary was on hand to assist Provost Lorraine Cameron with the big switch on.

Provost Cameron said: “It was great to see so many happy, smiling faces at the event and to meet so many local people. The children loved seeing Santa and his reindeer and the fireworks were a really special way to end a lovely event.”

One of the world’s leading life science companies has backed Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Thermo Fisher 2021 sponsor 16.11.17

Thermo Fisher Scientific, which employs more than 700 people at its Renfrewshire base, has pledged financial backing if Paisley takes title.

The town is bidding as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

Thermo Fisher 2021 sponsor 16.11.17

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron visited the latest international firm to back the town’s ambitions and said: “As we approach a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021, it’s good to be able to express our thanks to businesses, some with global links, who have put their support behind us.

“The scale of the commitment of the business community, including international firms such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, demonstrates how they have embraced the huge opportunity to boost the area’s economy.

Thermo Fisher 2021 sponsor 16.11.17

“They’ve also welcomed the idea of working with culture and cultural organisations.”

This year’s Nobel Chemistry Prize winners, pioneering scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson, worked with systems manufactured by Thermo Fisher.

The life sciences giant has global revenues topping £15 billion and has around 65,000 employees worldwide.

Its base in Renfrewshire has a history stretching back more than four decades and it has grown and expanded its manufacturing footprint and workforce in recent times.

It opened a £14 million facility at the Inchinnan plant in 2015, where novel technology is used to make products for drugs which treat influenza and other diseases.

Jim Carswell, Operations Director & Inchinnan Site Leader, said: “Thermo Fisher Scientific has had a presence in the area for more than 45 years and many of our employees are local to the area.

“We are delighted to throw our support behind the Paisley bid to be the UK City of Culture in 2021 and we wish the team every success ahead of the announcement next month.”

More than 200 companies have shown their support for Paisley’s bid, while a further 13 private sector organisations have committed over quarter of  a million pounds if the town is successful.

Thermo Fisher Scientific joins a list of sponsors including international drinks giant Diageo, which demonstrated its support by creating a limited edition of Johnnie Walker whisky.

Hillington-based haulage firm Gordon Leslie Group branded a truck that has travelled the length breadth of the UK, emblazoned with the 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 with Paisley themed art work at the check in area.

They are joined by Chivas Brothers and other businesses with local roots, Mac Asphalt, Morrison Construction, Clark Contracts  and the Scottish Leather Group.

WH Malcolm wrapped the backs of two trailers with Paisley 2021  branding 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.

A decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title is expected from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organised the competition, next month.

Almost 25,000 festive revellers turned out for Paisley’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, as the town prepares to hear whether it will be named UK City of Culture 2021 next month.

Headliners were Northern Irish rockers Ash, who marked the start of the festive season with a performance of hit after hit that thrilled the assembled crowds.

The switch-on is the latest event in Paisley’s Winter Events season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Festive fun seekers enjoyed a host of free family entertainment earlier in the day, including the famous Reindeer Parade down High Street.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron pressed the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School, who designed a winning Christmas card.

Provost Cameron said: “It’s great to get out and about and see so many of the community – especially young people enjoying one of the biggest events of the year. Our festive events are always really special and memorable, and this year’s was no exception.”

An energetic performance from Children’s Classic Concert got young music lovers moving before headliners Ash took to the stage for the main event.

The band showcased a string of hits including Shining Light, Girl from Mars and A Life Less Ordinary, before snow cannons blasted confetti across the crowd.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi also added to the seasonal atmosphere by playing Christmas classics from the main stage

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers snapped up the perfect gifts from the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market  while the merry Massaoke band played Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “With a decision on the UK City of Culture title expected within weeks it’s great to see so many people flocking to our unique town centre to enjoy one of the biggest and most popular occasions on our Winter Events calendar.

“It’s also a reminder of how the town is able to host major events such as this latest one.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host the four week WinterFest Christmas spectacular from next week, with plans for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by local business improvement district Paisley First, the plans also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 16 December.

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

Northern Irish rockers Ash will mark the start of Paisley’s festive season with a headline performance at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Thousands are expected to head to the town centre on Saturday, November 18th to enjoy a host of free family fun, including the famous Reindeer Parade.

The switch on is the latest event in Paisley’s winter season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will press the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School.

Santa and his helpers will lead the procession down High Street at 1.30pm, before he opens his grotto at the Paisley Centre.

A performance from Children’s Classic Concert will provide a seasonal soundtrack from 2.30pm, with audience participation a must.

Twice-voted best music act at the Edinburgh Fringe, percussion superstars Owen and OIly, shake up your idea of classical music with a high-energy family concert.

Music headliners Ash will take to the Live Stage at 5.15pm for a performance before the town’s festive countdown officially starts with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm.

With 18 Top 40 singles including ‘The Girl from Mars’ and ‘Shining Light’ under their belt, the band, who first found fame as teenagers in the nineties, still know how to start a party.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi will be adding to the festive fun by spinning Christmas classics from the main stage.

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers can explore the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market from 1pm, with over 30 stalls to search out the perfect gifts. Face painting and storytelling are among the family fun also on offer. An interactive snow globe in will be in Abbey Close for festive photo opportunities.

Revellers will find it hard to resist embracing the festive atmosphere and singing along with the merry Massaoke band as they play Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On is bigger and better than ever and will bring thousands of people into the town centre which is great for business.

“As we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 it’s great to show that we can host events on this scale. A winning bid would mean Paisley town centre would be hosting big events similar to this one every weekend.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host a four week Christmas spectacular in the town from November 24th, with plans, subject to approvals, for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by Paisley First, Winter Fest also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

For more information and timings on the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch on go to:http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/paisley-christmas-lights/#whats-on-4826

The event means there will be a series of road closures around the town centre from 12.01am on Saturday morning, including parts of Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Abbey Close will close from 8am on Saturday morning until after the event.