The BBC has defended itself against accusations that it was biased towards Paisley in its coverage of the UK City of Culture contest.
Perth was knocked out of the competition to host 365 days of arts, entertainment and exhibitions in 2021.
But its Renfrewshire rival has gone on to become bookie’s favourite for the lucrative title.
A study of Perth’s failed campaign revealed that the city received widespread and “largely positive” coverage on TV, radio and newspapers, which helped challenge outdated perceptions about the area.
But the coverage was criticised by local councillor Henry Anderson, who said during a debate on Perth’s campaign: “I personally listened to three discussions about Paisley during this time and they weren’t even on news-based programmes.
“It’s quite alarming that Paisley seems to have been given all this coverage, which we seem to have been lacking.”
Fiona Robertson, who led the Perth 2021 campaign, replied: “I can’t answer for the BBC and other media on how they chose to divide their coverage.
“What I can say is that this was a UK-wide competition, not just for Scotland, and all 11 places were competing for good media coverage. In our dealings with the BBC, we felt they were very even-handed.”
Now a spokesman for BBC Scotland has rejected accusations of favouritism.
A spokesman said: “We have not been biased in our reporting of this story.
“In a range of programming on radio, TV and online we have given fair and appropriate coverage to the bids from both Perth and Paisley.”
He said: “Our coverage of the Perth bid included packages for Good Morning Scotland on Radio Scotland and Reporting Scotland on television.”
The Perth bid was also covered on programmes Timeline and Newsdrive.
“In addition, other shows like the comedy series Breaking the News came from Perth during the bid period and we continue to cover cultural events from the city, irrespective of the results of the shortlist.”
Perth’s “Beyond the Fair City” campaign looked at ways of using culture to address concerns about isolation and disconnection amongst people living in rural parts of the area.
Although unsuccessful, some ideas for the City of Culture year – including art installations at medieval vennels and an augmented reality tour of the city – could still be delivered.
Paisley is now up against Coventry, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent for the 2021 title.