Wish I could be dancing now, In the arms of the girl I love…


‘Absolutely incredible & amazing – if you didn’t like it – you’re wrong!’

That’s what my son said when I asked him to review the latest Star Wars episode ‘The Last Jedi’. He had heard that some critics had been scathing while others had loved the movie. But of course I’m his father (‘I AM YOUR FATHER…’), so I like his review the best – he doesn’t leave you much room to disagree with his position does he? Nothing like being sure about something eh?!

This has been my first chance – and last chance of the year – to write a wee something following the ‘UK City of Culture 2021’ announcement. You’ll know that Paisley didn’t win (congrats to Coventry!) but we sure to goodness didn’t lose.

The bidding process, while celebrating Paisley’s rich heritage, began to write a new story for the town. To be honest though it’s actually hard to explain the impact bidding and being shortlisted has had on all of us, our partnerships, and particularly our communities. But when you come to Paisley you can feel it. Something special has started to happen and everyone is determined not to lose the momentum. We knew that had we won the title we would have delivered an exciting, authentic, and impactful City of Culture programme…and the programme would have positively impacted on the lives of many, many people across Paisley, Scotland, the UK and beyond. Although we will not have that opportunity, many of us I believe are now even more convinced of the power of culture to create positive change.

Although we weren’t awarded the title we need to keep reminding ourselves that we only came so close to winning by taking part in the first place. To be shortlisted as a town – the only town ever to do so – alongside 4 other cities, was a great achievement. The response from everyone following the announcement was so positive – and it’s been so encouraging in the weeks that have followed to hear everyone repeating the message, the mantra, that #OurJourneyContinues. And what a journey it has been so far – the passion, the joy, the pride, the people…and of course the town.

To end this little note (I hope he forgives me) I’m stealing my son’s words – because they make the most sense…

‘Paisley 2021’ – absolutely incredible & amazing – if you didn’t like it – you’re wrong!

All the best for Christmas & have a great 2018

Speak soon