THE people of Paisley have just hours to wait to learn if their town is the next UK City of Culture.

The winner of the 2021 title will be announced at a ceremony in current holder Hull at around 7.30pm.

The Renfrewshire town is the only Scottish contender in the shortlist and was yesterday the bookies’ favourite, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 4/5.

Rivals Coventry were at 4/1, with Sunderland and Swansea each set at 6/1 and outlier Stoke-on-Trent at 8/1.

Paisley’s bid includes the establishment of a new museum dedicated to textiles and costume, in recognition of the thread trade and Paisley pattern print that helped make its fortune after the industrial revolution.

Local heroes including Paolo Nutini and Gerard Butler have given their backing.

The decision will be broadcast live on BBC’s The One Show and bid director Jean Cameron says a win will transform the area and boost regeneration. Estimates have predicted a £176 million economic boost.

Cameron said: “The bid has already changed Paisley for the better, taking our profile to new levels, raising awareness of our unique and overlooked stories, transforming the town’s reputation, and giving self-confidence back to a town which has suffered many blows in recent years.

“It’s been a grassroots mass movement. People throughout Paisley and beyond have united behind a shared vision for the town and defined what culture means to them.

“Put simply, there is nothing with greater scope to transform Paisley’s future than winning this title, and the economic and social legacy it will leave.

“It will harness the power of culture to improve health, well-being and life chances, and will change lives in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities.”