£1.25m events boost is mu­sic to our ears

Big days out are pay­ing off

Paisley Daily Express - - New Retail Park Moves A Step Closer - Ex­press Re­porter

Pais­ley’s ma­jor events sparked a £1.25m boost for the local econ­omy this year, it’s been re­vealed.

More than 70,000 peo­ple have come to the area from across Scot­land and be­yond to at­tend big days with April’s Pais­ley Food and Drink Fes­ti­val, May’s Bri­tish Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships and Sma’ Shot/Weave fes­ti­val in July at­tract­ing five-fig­ure crowds.

Those three events alone cre­ated more than £850,000 of local spend plus al­most £400,000 of spend by vis­i­tors to the area – boost­ing the cof­fers of local busi­nesses.

This year also saw Scot­tish Opera bring a unique out­door pro­duc­tion of Pagli­acci to a spe­cially-erected tent in Seed­hill Play­ing Fields for five sold- out nights in July, which also at­tracted a five-fig­ure crowd and Scot­land­wide pro­file.

The fig­ures are listed in a re­port go­ing be­fore the coun­cil’s lead­er­ship board next week up­dat­ing mem­bers on progress with the wide-rang­ing Pais­ley 2021 legacy plan.

The coun­cil and its part­ners have agreed to use the re­sources set aside dur­ing the town’s UK City of Cul­ture bid to host the ti­tle had Pais­ley won on projects, which will de­liver on its vi­sion and aims and cre­ate long-term eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural ben­e­fits for the whole area.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil leader Iain Ni­col­son said: “Pais­ley’s UK City of Cul­ture bid did a huge amount to lift the town’s pro­file, rep­u­ta­tion and self­con­fi­dence, but it was only ever one part of a ma­jor plan de­signed to use cul­ture and her­itage to make us a des­ti­na­tion and drive new foot­fall.

“We said that jour­ney would con­tinue – and the num­bers at­tend­ing ma­jor events in the area are one of many ways we can now demon­strate that.

“To have £1m pumped into the local econ­omy so far this year will have had ma­jor ben­e­fits for traders through­out Ren­frew­shire.

“We’ve also a new fund de­signed to build ca­pac­ity among local cre­ative groups as well as in­vest­ment to trans­form key out­door spa­ces and trans­port links as part of the £100m in­vest­ment in Pais­ley town cen­tre over the next few years.”

Other key ar­eas of the legacy plan re­ferred to in the re­port in­clude:

 the push to pro­mote the area as a vis­i­tor des­ti­na­tion con­tin­ues through the area’s new des­ti­na­tion brand and web­site www.pais­ley. is, which has al­ready smashed its first-year tar­get for views;

 a new arts and cul­ture in health steer­ing group led by the NHS is now up and run­ning, and has se­cured fund­ing to ex­pand its pi­o­neer­ing com­mu­nity con­nec­tors pro­gramme al­low­ing GPs to ‘pre­scribe’ cre­ative ac­tiv­i­ties to pa­tients suf­fer­ing from so­cial iso­la­tion;

 work to build the area’s cre­ative business sec­tor, which has al­ready – thanks to the work of the coun­cil’s business in­cu­ba­tor InCube – seen a sharp rise in the num­bers of cre­ative busi­nesses seek­ing fund­ing and sup­port in the past few years.

The next events taking place in the area are The Spree fes­ti­val, which sees nine days of mu­sic com­edy and more at var­i­ous venues in Pais­ley from 12 to 20 Oc­to­ber, and the Pais­ley Hal­loween Fes­ti­val on 26 and 27 Oc­to­ber.

Bang­ing the drum for Pais­ley

Big suc­cess Bri­tish Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships

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