Walking through Ferguslie Park feels remarkably serene for a place labelled the most deprived area of Scotland.
Some locals tell me it has an “unfair label” but others say joblessness and drug use is why it’s crowned with the undesirable title.
What we do know is that it’s situated in Scotland’s largest town of Paisley, where of 76,000 people, approximately 25% are income deprived.
Some 31,450 people and 30% of children in the town are living in communities identified as being in multiple deprivation, according to the 2016 Scottish Indicators of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).
Many here blame its downturn on the closures of factories and mills. But despite its traditional industries collapsing, there is hope, as the town is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021.
In the wake of Brexit [the City of Culture bid] could provide an invaluable form of stability for the townMhairi Black MP
”The ability for everyone to easily access and experience cultural activity is the essence of Paisley’s bid,” a Paisley 2021 spokesperson says.
And with Derry’s reign in 2013 bringing an increase in 50% in tourist visits and estimated £47m boost to the local economy. It’s easy to see why deprived cities and towns are fighting it out for the crown.
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