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Paisley 2021 boosted by culture fund and music tuition investment

Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 ambitions are being boosted by two six-figure investments on cultural projects today agreed in Renfrewshire Council’s budget for 2017/8.

A special budget meeting today saw councillors agree to pump an extra £500,000 into Renfrewshire’s existing Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – which aims to unlock the area’s creative potential ahead of the Paisley 2021 bid being submitted.

Paisley 2021 boosted by culture fund and music tuition investment

And homegrown talent will be further nurtured by £150,000 to remove all music tuition fees for every Renfrewshire school pupil for the next year.

The CHE Fund was set up in 2015 to build capacity among the local creative scene with an initial half-million-pound investment – meaning the money announced today doubles the total available through the fund over its lifetime to £1m.

To date, just under £350,000 of that has been allocated to 46 different projects across a wide range of art forms, with the latest tranche of awards confirmed earlier this week.

Completed highlights include the incredible Paisley-themed animation created by teenage Kilbarchan film-maker Morgan Spence featuring Lego versions of famous Buddies including Paolo Nutini, Gerard Butler and David Tennant, which has now been seen by an audience of millions around the globe.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Investment in cultural projects was one of our priorities because the economic and social benefits which would be unleashed by a successful Paisley 2021 bid could utterly transform the outlook for Renfrewshire.

“For that to happen the area needs to demonstrate a thriving creative scene and proven ability to stage top-class programming – and the projects funded by the CHE Fund to date are already doing so.

“But the level of demand and quality of application so far has outstripped our expectations – this extra investment means Renfrewshire will continue to be open for business when it comes to attracting cultural entrepeneurship.

“Involvement in culture pays dividends in terms of self-confidence and well-being, and as a way to unlock the potential of our young people – and making it easier for them to learn musical instruments in school is a great way to do that.”