More Scottish cities have been urged to join Perth and Paisley as bidders for the title of UK City of Culture.

As the Department for Culture, Media and Sport formally launched the 2021 competition, the Minister for Scotland, Andrew Dunlop, urged more "towns and cities to get involved."

The team behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture say the town will be ready to host the 2021 title, a position currently held by Hull.

Paisley's bid will include an emphasis on the Paisley Pattern, Scotland’s second-highest concentration of listed buildings, and its museum collections, including the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls.

Paisley officially launched its intention to bid in November 2015 and has 100 local businesses behind it, and backing from across political parties.

Perth and Kinross Council also confirmed its bid yesterday.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board and Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “We would like to thank DCMS for giving us the chance to bid for this title – we hope to use it to transform the area’s fortunes, bringing massive economic benefits and a lasting social and cultural legacy.

"The first week of Hull's UK City of Culture year saw 342,000 visitors to the city – that is scale of boost this title could bring."

A number of cities have already started campaigns to be the 2021 choice, including Coventry and Cardiff, as well as Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Hereford.

Minister for culture, Matt Hancock, launched the competition at the Ferens Art Gallery, in Hull, which is re-opening to the public on Friday and will later hold the Turner Prize.

He said: "The UK City of Culture is not only a prestigious title but, as Hull has shown, it is a great opportunity to use culture as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration."

Cities interested in submitting bids to be UK City of Culture 2021 need to register with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by the end of February and final bids must be submitted by April 28.

The winner will be announced in Hull in December.