Perth is preparing for a fresh battle with city of culture rivals Paisley — this time, over the chance to host the Royal National Mod.
Perth and Kinross Council chief executive Bernadette Malone revealed in August that a bid was being made for the prestigious Gaelic festival.
It will be part of a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Fair City’s case for the 2021 City of Culture title.
Now Paisley, which launched its campaign for the culture crown several months before Perth, has announced it will also be bidding to host the Mod.
The Renfrewshire town previously hosted the event in 2013, while Perth has held the Mod nine times since 1896, the most recent being 2004.
Paisley’s Mod bid was launched by musician Grant McFarlane, the chairman of Fèis Phàislig, the town’s annual Gaelic festival and local depute provost John Caldwell.
Mr Caldwell said: “The feedback we received after Paisley’s successful hosting of the Mòd in 2013 was extremely positive. We are confident we can build on that experience to host an even better celebration of Gaelic culture with the Mòd in 2021.
“The legacy of our previous hosting can still be felt in the town and across the region, and is epitomised by groups like Fèis Phàislig and the important work they do in our communities to promote Gaelic heritage.”
Perth councillor John Kellas, convener of the area’s enterprise and infrastructure committee, said that the city still had an “excellent chance.”
He said: “A lot of time has already been put into our bid to host the Mod and initial discussions have been very positive. A budget for holding the event is already been worked on.
“We have great venues here in Perth and we have proven many times before that we can host it and make it a success.”
Meanwhile, a new fund has been set up to help local groups and individuals on projects and events which could boost the Perth 2021 campaign.
Perth and Kinross Council has announced details of the Perth 2021 Creative Communities Fund, which is offering grants of up to £1,500 to kickstart events including special exhibitions, performances or “something that reflects your community and Perth 2021”.
Applications should show how the activities or projects will meet at least one of three criteria -—showcasing the talent of local people; showing that culture is for everyone and getting people involved in cultural activities that they may not have tried before.
Provost Liz Grant said: “On a daily basis, there is incredible talent in our communities throughout Perth and Kinross and an appetite for culture.
“The bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will reflect the wealth of cultural achievement, and in order to support the continued development of these activities, the Creative Communities Fund is now open for applications.”