Paisley Shortlisted For 2021 City Of Culture

The team behind Paisley's bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 has said they are ''in it to win it'' after becoming the sole Scottish place shortlisted.

The Renfrewshire town is up against Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the title after the 11 places bidding were narrowed down to five.

The UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will announce the winner at the end of the year.

The Paisley 2021 Partnership Board which placed the bid claims if Paisley is chosen it could provide a £172 million economic boost to the town and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a 10-year period.

Board chairman, Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson, said: ''For the judges to have shortlisted us is a major endorsement of our ambitions for Paisley and Renfrewshire - and we are in it to win it.

''I know local people will be absolutely thrilled at this news - we want to thank every one of them as they are the ones whose incredible contribution made it happen.''

He said more than 30,000 people joined in with the bid, equivalent to almost half the town's population, and that winning the title would be a ''major boost''.

He added: ''Aside from hosting some of the world's best performers and bringing more than a million people to Paisley in 2021, it would over the long term create thousands of new jobs, and allow us to attract massive investment and build a new town centre economy with tourism and creativity at its heart.''

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added: ''There's never been a Scottish winner and we would be thrilled to be the first - we are now Scotland's bid and would love to see the whole country get behind us.''

Perth had also been bidding for the title, but was unsuccessful.

A statement on the Perth 2021 Facebook page congratulated Paisley for an 'inspiring campaign'.

It said its own bid had been 'pioneering', and continued: "We’re grateful to absolutely everyone who got behind the bid and we’re determined to keep up the momentum and make Perth one of Europe’s great small cities. Great initiatives like the Creative Communities Fund and £53m has already been committed to a number of projects that everyone can enjoy in the future."

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