Singing star Paolo Nutini to become a university tutor

Paolo Nutini will be teaching songwriting at the University of the West of Scotland.
Paolo Nutini will be teaching songwriting at the University of the West of Scotland.
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Scottish singing star Paolo Nutini is to set to become a university tutor - to help rear a new generation of musical talent.

Now Paisley-born Paolo Nutini is set to bolster its efforts by becoming a university tutor – to help rear a new generation of musical talent.

Five years after receiving an honorary doctorate in Paisley at the University of the West of Scotland, the singer has agreed to host a series of workshops for students.

The 30-year-old, who will stage an intimate show for 300 fans at Paisley’s abbey on Friday night, is also bankrolling a new scholarship which will see the successful candidate win a place on the university’s music Masters course.

Nutini’s university partnership, announced days after the launch of the town’s annual Spree arts festival, is the latest boost for the town’s culture capital bid.

Paisley is competing for the honour against Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with the winner due to be announced in December.

Renfrewshire Council’s bid for the title predicts more than 800,000 visitors could be attracted to the town in 2021 in the event of a successful bid.

It also expects a £176 million boost for the local economy and the creation of 4,700 jobs to be delivered over ten years.

Around £100m worth of improvements for Paisley’s cultural infrastucture is envisaged over the next few years under the plans to host the title.

Highlights include a £42m revamp of the town’s Victorian museum, a £22m overhaul of its 135-year-old town hall, £10m worth of improvements to public spaces in the town centre, a £2.5m revamp for Paisley Arts Centre and a £3.5m transformation of the former Gabraiths store in Paisley to make it suitable to host events like the Turner Prize.

Bid director Jean Cameron said: “The benefits of winning the title will be felt nationwide, both in terms of visitors and economic impact, and will be instrumental in reinforcing the diversity and ambition of what Scotland’s cultural scene has to offer.”

Speaking about the bid, Nutini said: “Paisley offered me and my family a life, way back, and it has continued to do so. When I think of Paisley, I think of everything that has shaped my life. There’s been a lot of different Paisleys that have meant something different to a lot of different people and they’ve all had a different energy each time. People regularly tell me what Paisley meant to them.

“The High Street used to be heaving, You’d see all these people, all these colours and noises and bodies. That energy is what we’re trying to restore.”

Students from anywhere in the world will be able to apply for the new Nutini scholarship, with the first place on offer from next autumn.
Course leader David Scott said: “Our Masters in Music is always full of talented young people, and this initiative will help a talented songwriter to undertake studies with us at the university, regardless of their financial background.

“Paolo is a huge inspiration to young people in Paisley and beyond and we’re expecting great excitement across the university when he comes in to teach - from students from all disciplines.

“We’re opening the doors now to applications from worthy candidates and we’re looking forward to a talent search like no other, assessing candidates on their experience or academic qualifications and their portfolio of work.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, principal of the university, added: “This collaboration with Paolo extends the breadth of work we currently offer, but significantly allows us to help create new talent in the creative industries.”