Our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 has been an exciting journey - and this will continue. It’s seen the town rediscover its sense of pride and transform Paisley’s reputation - all while taking our profile to unprecedented levels across Scotland, UK and the world.
Buddies believe in their town again and that self-confidence is bringing in more people to Paisley. Visits to Renfrewshire have risen by 25% in 2016 and 23% in 2017, outperforming the rest of the Glasgow City Region.
Our journey to regenerate the town and Renfrewshire using culture and heritage will continue.
We want to thank each and every one of you who has supported us so far and ask that you continue on our journey with us.
What happens now?
Paisley’s bid was only ever one part of a bigger plan to change our future for the better using our culture and heritage story – it’s already happening and there’s more to come:
- Major infrastructure investment that will revitalise our economy and town centre will take place over the next decade, some as a result of bid process (£274 million City Deal and more than £100 million in town centre venues and infrastructure);
- Commercialisation of our global design – the Paisley Pattern – is reinventing our textile heritage for the 21st century, linking the town with international design houses, and bringing creative entrepreneurs into our town centre (makers spaces, InCube);
- Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant heritage has been brought into the spotlight and will drive the development of a new visitor economy;
- Paisley is now firmly established as a key destination on Scotland’s events map. Existing ones such as Halloween, Sma’ Shot/Weave and The Spree will continue to grow, while the British Pipe Band Championships are here until 2021, The Royal National Mòd will return, and more exciting announcements for new events will follow in the New Year;
- Plus, our culture will keep enriching our lives. The bid showed the incredible diversity and strength of Paisley’s grassroots cultural scene and has a lasting legacy in the £1 million Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, supporting partnerships with top-class artists to develop our local talent (RSNO, Scottish Opera).
Your support is still needed!
People have seen the potential – they understand culture can transform people’s lives and the town’s future. Paisley had a vibrant cultural scene and the bid put it in the spotlight. The incredible energy harnessed by the bid will still be channelled in that direction.
This last two years saw a new partnership of local people and groups unite behind a shared vision for the area’s future, while new alliances were formed at national and international level, showing what Paisley can offer Scotland, the UK and the world. We will continue and build on all of that.
Previous bidding cities have used their bid momentum to transform their future anyway. We will follow this example.
In the New Year, we will host an event where we bring our local community and partners together to thank them for all they did and to have the conversation about moving forward together.
We still need your support – let’s keep this momentum going!
Paisley - the story so far
There have been some outstanding moments since we announced that Paisley was bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 back in November 2015. Paisley 2021’s takeover at Holyrood, Paolo Nutini backing the bid, Morgan Spence’s LEGO film to name a few. We have captured all these and more in our Paisley 2021 – the story so far.