Paisley wins £10m in backing for UK City of Culture bid

Fiona Hyslop was in Paisley today to announce the backing for its UK City of Culture bid.
Fiona Hyslop was in Paisley today to announce the backing for its UK City of Culture bid.
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The Scottish Government has committed £10 million to Paisley's bid to become the UK's next culture capital.

The Renfrewshire town is one of five contenders vying for the title in 2021, which is due to be announced by the UK Government in December.

Ministers have pledged £7 million in direct funding from the government and £3 million through its agencies for Paisley’s bid.

Renfrewshire Council, which is spearheading the bid, has pledged a further £8.7 million from its own budget. If successful, Paisley would secure a further £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Paisley has predicted an economic boost of £172 million and the creation of 4700 jobs over a 10-year period if its bid is successful.

Paisley is competing against Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the right to succeed Hull, which is basking in the limelight of the title this year.

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop revealed the backing for Paisley bid during a cultural summit in the town, which is due to lodge its bid at the end of this month.

She said: “I’m very pleased to confirm the Scottish Government’s support for Paisley 2021’s bid as the UK City of Culture.

“It’s an exciting prospect which fits in well with the government’s ambitions as we recognise the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life and the local and national boost this would bring.

“The Scottish Government is including its contribution to the Paisley bid within its spending review plans, as will the national agencies.”

Council leader Iain Nicolson, chair of the Paisley 2021 board, said: “There has never been a Scottish winner of the competition but we would love to be the first.

“The pledge supports our view that a successful bid for Paisley will produce benefits that will be felt across the whole country in terms of visitor numbers and economic impact and as a showcase of cultural excellence.”