Scotland's cultural strategy chief to lead transformation of Paisley

Leonie Bell has been charged with building on Paisley's bid to become UK City of Culture.
Leonie Bell has been charged with building on Paisley's bid to become UK City of Culture.
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One of Scotland's leading arts administrators is to take charge of the legacy of Paisley's bid to become a UK city of culture.

Leonie Bell, has been drawing up a new national cultural strategy for the Scottish Government for the last 18 months, will lead efforts to transform the Renfrewshire town over the next few years.

However the move means she will not be returning to her job as director of arts at Creative Scotland, where she was seconded from at the beginning of last year to work with the government on its new culture blueprint.

She will now head up a new Paisley Partnership which has been set up to build on the momentum developed by the town's UK culture capital bid. It lost out to Coventry to host the title in 2021.

Ms Bell, who will start her new job in the autumn said: "I am so excited to get started. Paisley is brimming with potential – and it can lead the way for the rest of UK in showing how a town can use culture to transform itself.

"Culture offers so many opportunities for communities – it is fundamental to who we are and why we are.

“Paisley is such a deeply and distinct cultural town – both in terms of its history and contemporary culture.

"You only need to walk around it for five minutes to see that – with such wonderful buildings and spaces as the abbey and the town hall."