IT might be expected that a Scottish newspaper would back Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. But there are good reasons beyond the patriotic for so doing. These reasons lie in both admiration for the recent campaign and a sincere feeling that Paisley so richly deserves the renewal that could result from being chosen.

The campaign was so high-energy and positive, with huge community involvement at the grassroots, that it was inspiring even to non-Buddies across the UK. Just as the UK City of Culture would confer benefits on Paisley, Paisley’s campaign has exemplified all that is good about the concept of having a UK City of Culture. All five places shortlisted before today’s decision have seen hard times and deserve support. Few will be unaware of how badly Paisley has suffered from unemployment and deprivation but the Buddies have shown a desire for change and a willingness to put the shoulder to the wheel.

Paisley’s great past is seen all around in its magnificent buildings. Its present sees an engaged grassroots and a thriving cultural community. Its future could be bright, and the boost from becoming UK City of Culture (an estimated £172 million in investment and nearly 5,000 jobs over 10 years) would do such a lot to take it forward.

We wish the other contenders well but we are backing Paisley. Paisley deserves this.