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Secretary of State for Scotland backs Paisley’s Culture bid

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 received more support this week as the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, visited Paisley to find out more about the town’s bid ambitions.

The Scottish Secretary, who has already voiced his support for the town’s bid, met with members of the bid team and toured some of Paisley’s most iconic sites including Paisley Abbey, Town Hall and the Russell Institute.

Secretary of State for Scotland backs Paisley’s Culture bid

The Scottish Secretary also paid a visit to the Gilmour Street retail base of InCube – Renfrewshire Council’s creative business incubator. He was joined by some of the local designers and makers, Paisley Pins and Jennifer Tsang Jewellery, who through InCube have received an intensive programme of business support and access to a shop to sell their creations.

Staff were on hand from InCube Retail Academy to provide more information about the support given to young entrepreneurs as well as those looking for routes into employment.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “Paisley already has many fantastic cultural assets, and winning UK City of Culture would help the town take its artistic and economic ambitions even further. The people and businesses I met today are examples of some of the great talent and energy Paisley has to offer. 

“The whole community is committed to Paisley’s bid, and proud of its great heritage and future prospects. I wholeheartedly back Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture.”

Paisley is bidding for the prestigious UK City of Culture title as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using the power of its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “It was great to welcome the Scottish Secretary to the town to talk him through the latest plans for Paisley 2021 following on from his support after the shortlist announcement.

 “Since Paisley was announced as the only UK town on the shortlist it has had fantastic support from across the political spectrum and from various government agencies. This positive momentum is a great example to towns throughout the UK of their important role and helps demonstrate how they can use what sets them apart to help transform their future.

“The tour and visit to InCube allowed us to demonstrate our town’s unique offering and show off Paisley’s rich history of creativity and design. The young entrepreneurs he met shared their inspiring stories and really highlighted how they are keeping our town’s creative traditions alive.”

Since Paisley made the shortlist in July, the bid has been publicly supported by political figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Conservative and Labour party leaders Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale, and Deputy Speaker of the House, Eleanor Laing MP, as well as major agencies including Visit Scotland, Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow Airport.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport judges visited Paisley last month and a final decision on the winning bid is expected in December.