Plenty of pride for Paisley

TOURISM body VisitScotland has welcomed the shortlisting of Paisley for the UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley Abbey is one of the landmarks within the town.

The only Scottish entrant to make the cut, Paisley joins Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland, and Swansea in the final bid for the 2021 title.

The announcement by John Glen, the UK minister for arts, heritage, and tourism, follows a meeting of the independent advisory panel, which sieved the 11 entries down to the final five; Perth, the only other Scottish town to place a bid, was unsuccessful.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said Paisley’s place on the shortlist is “fantastic news for the town and for Scotland”.

“This is a highly competitive process and to have made it this far is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team to showcase the town’s wonderful cultural offering,” he said.

“Tourism is more than a holiday; it creates jobs, sustains communities and makes a vital contribution to our economy.”

Roughead added that while the competition “will be fierce”, Paisley “has a lot to offer and I know they will make the most of this opportunity”.

Paisley’s bid for the title is based on the town’s heritage and cultural story as the home of the renowned Paisley Pattern. It is estimated that the Renfrewshire town’s 2021 year could bring about a £172 million boost for the area, and create the equivalent of 4700 jobs over a ten-year period.

All five shortlisted areas will submit a final bid by the end of September; the panel will assess these and the winner will be announced in December.