Glasgow & West Scotland

Paisley launches bid to become UK City of Culture 2021

The bid for City of Culture 2021 was launched at Paisley Abbey Image copyright Ian Rutherford
Image caption The bid for City of Culture 2021 was launched at Paisley Abbey

Paisley has launched its bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2021 with a £56m plan to create a national museum of textile and design.

The bid focuses on promoting the town's historic textile and weaving industries, which created the Paisley Shawl and the famous Paisley Pattern.

The competition is run by the UK department of culture, media and sport.

Although Paisley does not have city status, the competition is open to large towns and urban areas.

Renfrewshire Council is spearheading efforts to secure City of Culture status for Paisley.

Image copyright Renfrewshire Council

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The authority believes the regeneration of the town's culture sector could help support 250 new jobs and bring £88m to the local economy.

Council leader Mark Macmillan said: "Paisley was once at the heart of the global textile industry and by connecting that heritage to the future through a new transformed museum, we aim to bring the world to Paisley.

"The museum will become the cultural, social and economic heart of the town. It will be transformed for tourists and local families alike, and be the base for extensive community outreach supporting weaving, natural history, science and nature."

Derry-Londonderry was the first city to host the title in 2013. Hull will host the 2017 version, during which the 2021 winner will be announced.

Image copyright John Cooper
Image caption Paisley Abbey is one of the town's major landmarks

Paisley's bid to succeed Hull kicked off on Friday with two days of events.

These include live performances, an outdoor party and a light show projected against the backdrop of the 850-year-old Paisley Abbey.

Those who attend are being encouraged to wear the Paisley Pattern.

Part of Paisley's bid involves creating a hub to build links with national museums, international institutions and local art groups.

A £500,000 "cultural pot" is to be established to support community projects, while the architecture of the town and buildings will also be promoted.

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