Hearts have broken across Renfrewshire as the news breaks that Paisley have failed in their bid to be named City of Culture.
The announcement was made at the close of the One Show on BBC One by Arts Minister John Glenn. The bid had given Paisley a morale boost which many fear will now end as this result sinks in.
Scottish Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Despite just missing out, they can all be immensely proud of their efforts. They have done Paisley and Scotland proud and there is much to build upon.”
The bid was won instead by Conventry. Chair of the Coventry bid, David Burbidge, claimed afterwards that the title is a triumph for youth which will be focus of their efforts for 2021.
He described it as “an incredible opportunity for Coventry to boost investment in the local economy, grow tourism and put arts and culture centre stage.
“We have the great advantage of being a very young city, seven years below the national age average, (33 compared with 40), which means more time to enjoy the success.”
Paisley had been considered the favourite prior to the announcement last night in spite of being the smallest area ever to be shortlisted for the award. The bid had received the support of celebrities such as Paolo Nutini and Gerard Butler, who call the town their home, as well as from politicians of all political persuasions.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted on Wednesday that Scotland was behind the bid and wished the town luck while Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, tweeted yesterday evening: “Desperately sorry Paisley didn’t win tonight – every member of the bid team should be proud of themselves; it was a great bid.”
Desperately sorry Paisley didn't win tonight – every member of the bid team should be proud of themselves; it was a great bid. https://t.co/XCL46dwJFQ
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) December 7, 2017
Local Green MSP, Ross Greer, also outlined his feelings following the result, saying: “Everyone in Paisley can be proud of the brilliant campaign. Even though the town wasn’t selected, Paisley can rightly claim to be a city of culture. The bid has put Paisley on the map as a cultural hotspot with a proud history of industry and working class radicalism and I know that the hard work of the bid team will continue to reap benefits for the whole community. Congratulations to Coventry on their success.”
Paisley will now look for other ways in which to improve its infrastructure, boost tourism, highlight its talent and re-invigorate its population to move forward into a century which has been difficult for the denizens of the town thus far.
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