Renfrewshire Council

Support comes in from around Scotland for Paisley bid legacy work

Support has come in from around Scotland for Paisley's ongoing culture-led regeneration work - with senior cultural figures from around the country backing the ambitious plans to build a long-lasting legacy from the area's UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

This comes in the week councillors approved the next stages of a £100m investment in the town centre and a new fund to support the local cultural sector to grow, and as Paisley Museum closes for a major revamp. Here's what some of them have had to say:

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

"Paisley's City of Culture bid journey has been inspiring and captured the imagination of people all around Scotland and beyond. I am pleased that Renfrewshire Council are continuing to drive forward their ambitious cultural plans, making the vision behind Paisley's bid a reality.

"These exciting developments will help grow Paisley's creative sector, foster community engagement and enhance people's involvement in cultural activity, building new partnerships across Scotland and the UK. These investments will further enhance the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland's rich cultural life and will benefit people in Paisley, Renfrewshire and Scotland."

Gary Cameron, Head of Place, Partnerships and Communities, Creative Scotland commented: "We are delighted Renfrewshire Council have established the Cultural Organisations Development Fund.

"Local authority support is essential for developing arts and culture across Scotland, and we believe this fund will build on Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture and bring a range of cultural, social and economic benefits to the region."

Support has also arrived from Dundee - a city which has already shown the power of culture to transform fortunes, culminating in the opening of the V&A museum last week.

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: "The recent opening of V&A Dundee is the latest achievement in the long-term regeneration of the city where culture plays an integral part in this transformation.

"Our status as a UNESCO City of Design has been awarded because of the growth of the sector in the Dundee and the contribution this is making to our economy. Creativity is helping to create jobs and to attract tourists in ever great numbers.

"I am pleased to see how the legacy of the Paisley bid campaign is being used to focus on the future and tap into the power of the arts to bring about change for the good."

And a number of local partners have also had their say:

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire said: "We know Renfrewshire's cultural activity programme is already providing fantastic opportunities for developing local aspirations, reducing isolation and re-connecting people with Paisley.  

"The plans for refreshed, re-imagined outdoor areas in the centre of the town will positively benefit all our social aims by providing a fantastic backdrop for an even wider range of cultural activities - attracting more visitors and local people for many decades to come."

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce added: "We welcome this investment in the next stage of the journey to deliver the vision of the 2021 bid.

"Enhancing our key cultural assets and public realm will we believe drive visitor numbers and increase economic spend, presenting opportunity for businesses to capitalise on our growing profile on the national and international stage.

"Cultural development and the legacy fund will encourage creative organisations to upskill, build their operations and shine a spotlight on the reinvigorated vision for Paisley and Renfrewshire. "

Alan Clark, of the Creative Renfrewshire group - a network which shines the spotlight on creative and cultural activities across Renfrewshire, added: "I think the Creative Renfrewshire members would see real value in this investment in the local creative scene over the long-term.

 "The new organisational development fund will allow organisations to build partnerships and create growth across the whole sector - we are all part of this together. It feels like this is the beginning of a long-term growth."