SOME of Scotland’s most iconic buildings were lit up in support of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

The final bid document was submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Friday, with Paisley hoping to pip rivals Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea to the money-spinning title.

And, to mark the milestone, landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, The Kelpies and Dundee’s Caird Hall were illuminated in Paisley 2021 signature red.

The country-wide celebration followed an emotional send-off in Paisley town centre on Friday, when a large crowd joined more than 150 singers from eight local choirs for a mass musical performance of Wild Mountain Thyme, led by local singing star Carol Laula.

Paisley is the only Scottish location to make the final 2021 shortlist, with the winner to be announced in December.

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future, using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story, and the send-off followed a £46million town centre investment package approved by Renfrewshire Council earlier in the week which aims to prepare the town to host the 2021 title.

The investment includes a £22m modernisation of Paisley’s 19th-century town hall, £10m of public realm and transport improvements in the town centre, £7.7m to upgrade St James Playing Fields to make it suitable for large outdoor events, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre and £3.5m to turn the disused Galbraiths warehouse in Back Sneddon Street into a new performance and visual arts space.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 bid director, said: “As Scotland’s bid, it’s fantastic to see the whole country get behind us and celebrate this significant point in our UK City of Culture journey.

“There has never been a Scottish winner but we would love to be the first. The whole country agrees that this, as Gerry Rafferty said, is ‘the right moment’ for Paisley.

“The benefits of winning the title will be felt nationwide, both in terms of visitors and economic impact, and will be instrumental in reinforcing the diversity and ambition of what Scotland’s cultural scene has to offer.

“Our bid has been shaped by the voices of Paisley and our hometown send-off moment was a spine-tingling way of bringing that to life.

“The sight and sound of everyone joining together as one was an emotional, amazing moment and one that will stay with me forever.”

Nick Finnigan, executive manager at Edinburgh Castle, said: “We’re delighted to play our part in supporting Paisley’s bid.

“It would be unprecedented for a town in Scotland to be successful in securing the City of Culture mantle and we wish Paisley every success.”

For more information on Paisley’s bid, visit the website at