Guest blog: Renfrewshire’s digital communities leading the way on Paisley 2021

Communities are what make places great. It is people that bring streets to life, that make things happen and change how we do things.

So it is Paisley’s people that are the catalyst for the town’s regeneration. So far, we’ve held two community planning conferences on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. Both events were great ways for people to feed into the bid as well as finding out about the social and economic benefits for Renfrewshire that can come out of bidding.  We’ve also held smaller community led “Have Your Say” events where discussion around Paisley’s bid was also extremely positive.

There are some great ideas in Paisley about how we can transform the town for the people and attract tourism and investment. We have some great grassroots cultural and community organisations, and Paisley 2021 is a time to put a spotlight on them. Showcasing Paisley and Renfrewshire’s diversity is key – it’s about involving older and younger people, people in poverty, with disabilities, of varying religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Renfrewshire has a wealth of ethnically diverse people and that’s key to our success.

Paisley 2021 will build on the fantastic platforms for engagement already operating across Renfrewshire - including our Third Sector Network with over 360 members, Renfrewshire’s Volunteer Managers Forum and our local Social Enterprise sector. We also have examples of nationally celebrated best practice to draw on – Street Stuff for example – which engages young people in a range of sports and cultural activities including football sessions, on-line gaming and ‘Street Stuff Dance’. The fast emerging plans for wider engagement around Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 are exciting and - more importantly - they look like fun! Watch this space!

The bid is closely linked to other local strategies such as the Tackling Poverty agenda, emerging health and social care approaches, and the digital strategy for community participation. Digital engagement is definitely one of the key themes and everybody should have the opportunity to reach their digital potential. If you’re not sure how to use all the fantastic resources that are available to promote the bid get in touch – help is available! We are looking to organise training for local organisations and individuals who want to promote Paisley 2021 so we hope to hear from you. Creatively using social media is vital to develop the widest and best community engagement on Paisley 2021, ultimately delivering a digitally connected cultural community.  If you’re just starting off on your ‘tweeting’ journey here are some key ‘2021’ folk to follow – tweet us – we’ll tweet back!











Hopefully speak soon.