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Paolo Nutini says culture city title vital for Paisley 

The singer believes the bid is about 'restoring the faith in Paisley.'

Music: Paolo Nutini will headline Paisley's Spree festival later this month.
Music: Paolo Nutini will headline Paisley's Spree festival later this month. © Geoffrey Robinson/Rex Features

Paolo Nutini has said making his hometown Paisley Scotland's first UK City of Culture is vital for its future.

The New Shoes singer recalled fond memories of growing up in the Renfrewshire town, where he still lives, and how it has changed over the years.

Now he says Paisley's culture bid is an important step in its regeneration.

Speaking to The Big Issue, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter said: "The first time I did everything was in Paisley, the first time I went to the pictures, or the bowling, or the ice rink, or the swimming baths.

"The first time I got to go to the toy shop and pick my own toy out.

"The fact is these places are all gone now - there ain't no cinema anymore, there's no bowling, the ice rink went, the toy shop went.

"All of these things had such an innocence to them that I'd like to see brought back.

"For me, that's why this bid is so important, it's about restoring the faith in Paisley."

'When I think of Paisley, I think of everything that has shaped my life.'
Paolo Nutini

The town announced in 2015 that it would compete for City of Culture 2021.

Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea are also on the shortlist.

Now some bookmakers place it as second favourite to come out on top, with the decision to be announced in December.

Ahead of the result, Nutini will sing at Paisley's Spree music and arts festival later this month.

The musician's family emigrated from Italy to the town in the early 1900s, opening fish and chip shop Castelvecchi in 1914, which still stands in its original New Street location today.

He added: "Paisley offered me and my family a life, way back, and it has continued to do so.

"When I think of Paisley, I think of everything that has shaped my life."

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