In just one week, Scotland’s largest gathering of those who work to improve the nation’s towns and city districts will take place in Paisley Town Hall. 

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Attendees from the public, private, third and community sectors will hear leading urban thinkers and advocates from Scotland and abroad, including: Kevin Stewart MSP (Scottish Government), Geurt Grosfeld (Netherlands), Rob St Mary (United States), Simon Wall (Ireland), Jean Cameron (Paisley 2021), Sandra Black (Renfrewshire Council), Janet Archer (Creative Scotland), Barbara Cummins (Historic Environment Scotland), and more!

Delegates will also take part in ‘town labs’ with senior experts from BT Scotland, CityFibre and VisitScotland, who will provide advice and insight on key challenges for “Digital Future-Proofing” and “Town Tourism”.

Meanwhile, the conference will provide a unique opportunity to connect with others working in the field, as well as the chance to interact with a range of key sponsors and exhibitors. Special features of this year’s conference also include the announcement of the winner of the Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street competition, and the opportunity to view and vote on the exhibition shortlist for the annual FutureTown Design Competition.

The host town of this year’s gathering is the perfect setting for the conference theme, “The Future History of Scotland’s Towns”. Truly embracing its future history, Paisley’s vision is centred on its world class cultural and heritage assets and has begun an extensive programme of regeneration activity and investment. This strategy has contributed to making Paisley the only town to qualify for the shortlist of UK City of Culture 2021. Conference delegates will not only hear about Paisley’s Vision for 2026 but step into this living plan, walking through the town’s strategic activity areas in a specially-designed guided tour.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Scotland's Towns Partnership Conference here in Paisley for another year.

"Paisley is known throughout the world thanks to our textile heritage and the pattern which carries our name - and that global outlook complements the work STP is doing to help develop a World Towns Framework.

"The role of the town is an important issue. Changes in the way people shop have changed the role of town centres everywhere - and Paisley is all-too-aware of the impact of that. But towns still matter - more than two-thirds of the UK don't live in a city.

"Our UK City of Culture 2021 bid is part of a wider effort to use our heritage and cultural assets to reimagine our high street and reinvent our future - by harnessing the power of our internationally-siginificant story and the creativity which is and always has been in Paisley's DNA.

"In doing so we hope we can show the way for towns everywhere - and hosting this conference will be a great way to share ideas and showcase what Paisley can offer to others."

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