Nowhere in the UK is there an urban area of comparable size – 77,000 people – that has such a rich architectural, industrial and social history and that once mattered so much to the world.

Renfrewshire Council and its partners have announced their intention to bid for 2021 City of Culture status. The contest requires applications to be lodged in 2017, with the winner to be announced that year.

The ambitious plan received a boost when leaders of neighbouring local authorities working on the £1.13bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal project agreed to give their support.

Members of the City Deal Cabinet heard a report presented by Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan which outlined the full extent of Paisley’s ambitions – and agreed to work together on any opportunities which could help Paisley clinch the title.

The eight City Deal councils are Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

East Renfrewshire Council leader Jim Fletcher said: “We wish Paisley all the best with its UK City of Culture ambitions and are ready to support Renfrewshire Council if we can.