Renfrewshire Council

Towns have real power to change narrative of place

I was delighted to join international town and urban leaders for the first World Towns Leadership Summit. It was a great opportunity to talk about the changing economic drivers for successful place-making and the issues many towns currently face.

I believe in town power. Towns are a big part of the global urban infrastructure, but often the narrative is less defined. That's what often takes away the power of a town - and that's what we need to turn around for Paisley. Our town is distinct, it is unique and we have lots to be proud of - and Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is about changing our own narrative of the town and Renfrewshire.

I was proud to stand up at the event and talk about Paisley 2021 and how we plan to use the town's culture and heritage to transform not only Paisley but Renfrewshire. The bid is about changing what people think about Paisley, how we talk about the town and - more importantly - what goes on in the town. It is about bringing businesses and tourism into the town by developing our cultural events and creating opportunities for creative people and businesses.

I firmly believe in creating a stronger economy within a fairer, more equal society. Building on our existing grassroots cultural offering and attracting inward investment are just two ways we can create jobs in the local area and boost our economy.