In a debate about a City of Culture bid the case for Paisley was championed by the town’s MSP. Parliamentary time was used to discuss the bid for another Scottish town but the case for Paisley was strongly put by George Adam. Paisley is currently going through the process of applying for City of Culture status which has been bestowed on Derry-Londonderry in 2013 and Hull for 2017.
Speaking in the debate, George said:
‘Redevelopment and regeneration are, for me, the most important part of any bid, because they have to do with what actually comes out of a bid—its legacy is the most important aspect.
‘A successful bid would create the capital investment to ensure that Paisley has the capacity to have such an event, Paisley has many venues, including Paisley town hall, the abbey—which is also now being used as an arts venue—and the arts centre. They demonstrate Paisley’s history and legacy and the importance of Paisley to Scotland in general.
‘Any bid needs to ensure that it has public backing—it has to be owned by the people in the town.
‘Our local newspaper, the Paisley Daily Express, has urged all buddies to back the bid by running a social media campaign using #WhyILovePaisley. We all know that I tend to come here just to say that, but I have been taking to social media to do it as well. What is not to love about Paisley, its history and the bid?
‘What is not to love about the people and their passion for life or about what we have given the world, historically and culturally, from David Tennant to Gerard Butler, from Gerry Rafferty to John Byrne, from the weaver poet Robert Tannahill to the Rev John Witherspoon, who signed the American declaration of independence, and of course the world-famous Paisley pattern?
‘All those things will be part of the bid that Paisley is pushing forward’.
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop stated:
‘I am mindful that, as George Adam pointed out, other Scottish cities and areas have indicated… a desire to bid to become UK city of culture 2021.
‘I recently met Renfrewshire Council to hear of its ambitions for Paisley. There is a strong case for Scotland in the competition and our cities are in a strong place culturally. May the competition be constructive, and advertise our country’s cultural successes and potential collectively’.