Guest blog: Pearlescent Paisley

Amanda Moulson is 2021 Bid Development Manager and talks here about the first anniversary of the bid.

Pearlescent Paisley

One year on from entering City of Culture race...

Who would have thought a year ago when we entered the City of Culture 2021 race, that we would have 7,000 conversations around cultural regeneration and reach over 150,000 people through our campaign?

But that’s exactly what has happened. 

Almost from the off, we have had a phenomenal level of engagement, which bodes well as we enter the next phase of the bidding process.

Something about the prospect of Paisley no longer hiding its light under a bushel has ignited debate even in our less heard communities. People want to talk to us about Paisley and the power of culture. Consultations around themes as diverse as music, visual art and fashion have attracted strong participation and so many great ideas.

We have plotted a strong, steady course to this point, with a series of fantastic events underscoring the message that not only do we have amazing cultural assets, but we have the capability to deliver.

New in 2016, we had the British Pipe Band Championships, the Scottish Album of the Year Awards, Paisley Make, and who could forget the ‘Pride of Paisley’. All with phenomenal attendance, and well supported by local businesses and national media. 

Our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund launched last year, has also started to pay dividends with an award to Feis Phaislig for a year-round programme of music tuition for young people kicking-off in October.             

One of the initiatives of which I am most proud, however, is the culture bus, which is currently touring local communities, thanks to the area’s award-winning Street Stuff youth scheme.

This sort of initiative will be at the very heart of Paisley’s bid for the title, with the ability for everyone to easily access and experience cultural activity.               

So on this milestone occasion, we can all revel in how far we have travelled.

And for the time being bask in a magical, pearlescent glow, that is reminiscent of yet another fantastic cultural happening – the ‘Paisley Pearls’ exhibition at Paisley Museum.   

We thank you for all your support so far, and ask you to help propel us into another momentous year.