David Tennant, Gerard Butler, Paolo Nutini, hell, even the psychedelic Paisley print. These are just some of the pop culture phenomena to blossom from Paisley.
There is no denying that Paisley is already a culture hotspot, but the City of Culture 2021 bid is looking to cement that.
The bid is expected to bring a significant economic boost to the area. The previous City of Culture winner, Hull, received £1 billion worth of investment and expects to see an extra £60 million annually in its local economy.
Paisley also has a deeply rich history. For example, Paisley Abbey was founded in the 12th century and John Witherspoon, a local minister between the years 1758 and 1768, went on to become a founding father of the USA.
Paisley also made political history when Mhairi Black became the youngest MP in 350 years, being 20 years old when elected in 2015. Against the odds she won the Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency against Labour political veteran Douglas Alexander, who was a former Shadow Foreign Secretary.
Paisley is a great city, but the bid is not just for recognition. It’s also to rejuvenate the local area which in recent years has not being doing amazingly economically.
Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire’s council leader and winner of Scottish Politician of the year 2016 said: “The reason behind UK city of Culture is to help continue the transformation of Paisley in Renfrewshire. The driving force around the bid is regeneration. If you think of Paisley and it’s town centre.
“We’ve, over the past five years, been successful in reducing youth unemployment to it’s lowest level in Renfrewshire history. We need to continue that and get to the point where youth unemployment is a technicality. The bid for Paisley to become UK city of Culture is primarily about the economy, creating new jobs and the regeneration of the area.”
Paisley faces fierce competition for the bid as 10 other cities are stepping into the ring to fight for the prize.
Secretary of Paisley East and Whitehaugh Community Council said: “Certainly our Community Council fully supports the 2021 bid as we feel that this is a prime opportunity for Paisley and indeed Renfrewshire to demonstrate its rich cultural heritage. While we are facing fierce competition from other towns and cities throughout the country, we feel that Paisley has so much to offer and is entirely worthy of such an accolade.”
Mark Macmillan went on to talk about creating jobs and helping the local economy.
He said: “Paisley itself being the largest urban centre of Renfrewshire what the bid is centred around. But it will have and has had benefits to the rest of Renfrewshire because more people are interested in the area. We’re using culture along with other regeneration projects like the city deal, infrastructure programmes and how we build the economy of Renfrewshire to create more and more jobs for the people who stay here.”