Tam's Tall Tales

- Paisley Bids to Be City of Culture

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Bids to Be City of Culture
One wag said that Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 had two drawbacks - it is not a city and it has no culture.

The lack of city status is not decisive. Rules for the competition, laid down by the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, say that it is open to "large towns and urban areas". The Government chooses a new city every four years, with the aim of helping tourism and the economy. Hull in England was followed Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Now Paisley is one of six cities hoping to win the prize for 2021. With its Abbey and museums and with time to create more cultural attractions, it might well succeed.

Mark Macmillan, the leader of Renfrewshire council, accepts that Paisley is not in the forefront of culture but reminds people of similar scepticism in 1990 when Glasgow became European Capital of Culture in 1990, following Athens, Florence, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris. (Scottie still recalls driving to Edinburgh with a "Glasgow's Miles Better" sticker in the rear window of his car...) Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is all about using culture as a vehicle for the town’s regeneration plans.

Part of Glasgow's success was due to creating a brand new concert hall in the city centre. And this week Renfrewshire Council announced it is to splash out on a £15 million state-of-the-art sports village and green space in support of the bid for City of Culture status.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
March 2016

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