08 Mar 2017
The countdown is on for Perth and Paisley as they eagerly wait to hear if they have made the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2021.
In addition to the prestige and positive publicity for landing the title, the winner is expected to get a significant boost to their economy - including the local housing market.
As evidence of this, current holder of the title Hull has seen a steep rise in home prices in recent months.
A shortlist for the 2021 contest will be published in the summer before the winner is announced in December.
Scotland looks to have a good chance of success in the 11-strong field. Bookmaker William Hill's latest odds has Perth as the 3/1 favourite, while Paisley is an 8/1 chance.
Eleven areas have registered bids. The other nine are: Coventry, Hereford, Portsmouth, St David’s and the Hundred of Dewisland, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Warrington and Wells.
It is estimated that being UK City of Culture 2017 will deliver a £60 million boost to Hull’s economy this year. The city has also seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013.
A recent house-price report calculated that the average price for a terraced home in Hull jumped by 58% to £142,394 in the 12 months to last November.
Perth's bid is built around a community-developed programme of arts and culture linked to themes, including one emphasising the city’s role as a meeting place and melting pot and drawing on the city’s rich heritage as a catalyst for creativity and ideas.
The Perth office of Aberdein Considine has reported a jump in house sales since the Fair City was named the bookies favourite.
It has also revealed that the Perth property market sprung into life this year before the traditionally-busy spring period - with plenty of buying and selling activity.
Paisley, just outside Glasgow, is bidding for the cultural title as part of wider plans to use its unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.
At the heart of Paisley’s bid will be its unique story as the one-time centre of the global textile industry, and home of the world-renowned Paisley Pattern.
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