Coventry has been named UK City of Culture 2021. The government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced the winner on The One Show on BBC One. The show was broadcast from Hull, the current city of culture. Paisley had been named on a shortlist of five, alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.
Paisley’s bid was part of a wider strategy to encourage visitors based on the local culture and history. Their campaign won support from Paolo Nutini, Gerard Butler and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said those involved in the Paisley bid should feel “immensely proud”, despite the result.
She said: “Paisley’s bid journey has been inspiring. Beginning two years ago with hundreds of people gathered at the picturesque Paisley Abbey for the official launch.
“Since then businesses, cultural and community groups have thrown their support behind the town’s ambitions. A real strength has been the extensive community engagement with more than 30,000 people involved. All helping put together an outstanding bid for Paisley and for Scotland.
“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.”
As part of the bid, Renfrewshire Council launched a culture, heritage and events fund to increase capacity among the local creative scene, which provided a £1 million investment.