Launched in 2009, the UK City of Culture contest aims to use local culture and creativity to bring recognition to cities across the UK. With Derry being the first winner and Hull currently holding the title, the competition for City of Culture 2021 is now heating up. There has never been a Scottish winner but Paisley is hoping to change all that.
While Paisley is not a city, the competition is open to all large towns and urban areas. With the deadline for initial bids set for Spring this year, I felt that it was about time for me to show my support and #BackTheBid.
There are a number of reasons as to why Paisley should be named City of Culture 2021. Here are some interesting facts about Paisley:
1. Paisley is best known for the world famous Paisley Pattern, popularised by the town’s weavers in the 19th century and made fashionable by Queen Victoria.
2. Paisley has the highest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland after Edinburgh.
3. Paisley is the only place in the UK to host the starting leg of the world famous Monte Carlo Classic Rally.
One of my favourite things about Paisley is the stunning architecture. When I first moved to Paisley, I was shocked at the beautiful architecture in the town centre – from the gorgeous Paisley Abbey to the stunning Anchor Mill building. I could sit and stare at it all day (I probably do every time I’m in town). My graduation ceremony was held in the Coats Memorial Church which is one of the most stunning buildings I have ever seen. True beauty.
And of course, there is the culture. From the University campus to famous Paisley natives such as Paulo Nutini, Gerard Butler and David Tenant, Paisley has a lot to offer Scotland and the world. Paisley also has numerous events on throughout the year including the Monte Carlo Car Rally, Halloween Events and Beer Festivals – there is always something on. And I like that. I like that Paisley has strong community spirit and working to make things fun again.
But it’s not just about all that. It’s also about the people and what it’s like to live in Paisley. I’m not a buddy (the name for people born in Paisley). I grew up in the south of Scotland and moved to Paisley for University. I never expected to end up living here permanently, I always assumed I would either return home or live in Glasgow. But Paisley has now been my home for several years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Paisley has given me so much – I got a great education from the local University, my husband is from Paisley, I got my Graduate job thanks to Renfrewshire Council. I’ve grown up here – from an innocent, naive 20 year old to a grown up, confident almost 30 year old.
I would never have been able to achieve my dreams back home, the opportunities just aren’t there. And that’s why Paisley deserves to win the title of City of Culture. It may not have the best reputation but it’s working hard to improve the lives of everyone living here. I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m giving my thanks by supporting this fantastic bid. Back the bid and help Paisley win City of Culture 2021.
To keep up to date with Paisley 2021 and to show your support, visit the Paisley 2021 website.
All images courtesy of Paisley 2021