Businesses throw support behind Paisley 2021 since culture bid launch

Businesses large and small have come forward to back Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid since its launch two years ago.

More than 200 firms have formally pledged their support in the wake of the town’s title ambitions being officially declared at Paisley Abbey in November 2015.

Businesses throw support behind Paisley 2021 since culture bid launch

A series of national organisations with a combined membership of more than 28,000 businesses have also given the bid their backing.

The Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, the Institute of Directors Scotland, CBI  Scotland, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry have all formally declared their support.

An additional 13 private sectors firms will collectively gift more than a quarter of a million pounds should the town take the title.

The imaginative ways in which they have demonstrated their support include drinks giants Diageo 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 Paisley  2021 logo.

The world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer Coats, which started life in the town , has also thrown its weight behind the town’s title ambitions while Glasgow Airport marked its formal endorsement of the bid with Paisley themed art work at the check in area.

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, as well as a Paisley Music Week showcase.

Firms with international links such as world leading science company Thermo Fisher Scientific and Scotch whisky company Chivas Brothers have all also pledged financial backing,

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Paisley First, which represent more than 900 businesses between them, are also among the official sponsors.

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

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

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said:  “In the two years since the bid was launched, the scale of support from the business world has been incredible and is a clear signal of their firm commitment to our winning bid.

“From our local high street businesses to worldwide enterprises, the support for our bid from the public and private sector has been fantastic. Winning the UK City of Culture title in 2021 would mean we have the backing of businesses with reach right across the UK and further afield, bringing significant economic benefits to our local communities."

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “Securing the title of UK City of Culture 2021 would trigger a considerable amount of local investment in Paisley and help us to create many new jobs which would be wonderful for the town.

“Paisley First is backing the bid as an official sponsor as securing this title would bring great economic benefits to the area not only in the run up to 2021 but the impact of its legacy will also be felt for many years beyond.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Renfrewshire business community can see the huge opportunity to reinvigorate our town’s economy. They can see the opportunity to employ new staff, operate in new markets and up-skill their people. The business community have embraced the idea of working with culture and cultural organisations - they want culture to come in to their work places and engage with their staff.”