BBC - Paisley's bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021 has been sent off with a fanfare in the town.

Crowds gathered to wave flags and watch more than 150 singers perform songs with Paisley roots.

The Renfrewshire town is up against Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the title, credited with attracting major investment to former winners.

The winner will be announced by the UK government's digital culture, media and sport team at the end of the year.

Paisley, which is famous for its weaving past, has already been boosted by events about the bid with new investment and cultural programmes, organisers said.

Paisley 2021 project director, Jean Cameron, said that since launching the bid in November 2015, many people in the town had got behind the initiative.

She added: "Winning this bid would transform the future of this town and bring so much investment to the wider economy. There is a real civic pride, it would put Paisley on the cultural map."

The bid is part of a wider drive for the development of the town, which includes a £45.7m investment package, already approved.

That includes a £22m modernisation of Paisley's 19th Century town hall as well as upgrades to transport.

Organisers estimate that winning the bid could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a 10-year period.

Source: BBC News

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