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UK’s.biggest ball pit comes to intu Braehead

intu Braehead hosts spectacular summer party  

Free entertainment and activities including the UK’s biggest ball pool and summer beach area

Everyone’s invited to intu Braehead’s weekend-long summer celebration

intu Braehead will host two days of free activities and entertainment on Saturday and Sunday July 1 and 2, as it kicks off one of the area’s biggest summer celebrations.

Shoppers can have a ball at a special Summer Party as the country’s biggest ball pool for adults and kids, measuring nine metres square is being installed in the mall’s central atrium.

Close on 200,000 brightly-coloured balls will be in the pool for everyone to dive into and have free fun sessions.

And over in Soar at intu Braehead visitors can head down to a specially-created beach with lots of sand, giant deckchairs, buckets and spades and an inflatable slide for youngsters to enjoy.

Christine Macdonald, marketing manager at intu Braehead said: “This is a summer party like no other and we can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of shoppers when they see what we have in store.

“Whether you’re visiting us to take part in fun activities like our giant ball pool, or heading for our beach area to simply enjoy a great day out with family and friends, everyone joining us for intu Braehead’s Summer Party is in for a real treat.”

Visit www.intu.co.uk/braehead for more details of what’s on and opening hours.

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Mall offers free personal guide service to visually impaired

A FREE service has been launched to help people who are blind or visually impaired get around one of Scotland’s biggest shopping malls.

From left, intu Braehead guide Christine Wilson; visually impaired shopper, Theresa Jenson; Christine Olsen from the mall and visually impaired shopper, Cathy Slyder

Staff at intu Braehead have been given specialist training by the Visability Scotland charity to act as personal shopping guides around the stores.

Theresa Jenson, from Erskine and Cathy Slyder, from Paisley were the first to take advantage of the new service, as they were guided around the stores at intu Braehead, by staff members, Christine Olsen and Christine Wilson.

Cathy said: “This means a lot to me. It’s a great service and very helpful as the staff who accompany us are able to describe the colour, design, type of material and size of what we were planning to buy.

“If it wasn’t for this service I would have to rely on family to come round the shops with me.”

Theresa added: “Having this service at intu Braehead gives me some independence and means I don’t have to rely on other people.
“And I can buy my family presents without them having to be there with me when I do that.”

Already this year, a specialist trainer in sign language was brought in by intu Braehead to teach up to 20 staff basic sign language skills during a two-day course.

And staff have also been given specialist training by Scottish Autism to make life more comfortable for people with autism when they visit the centre.

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “We want to make sure everyone – and we mean everyone – has the opportunity to come to intu Braehead and experience what we have to offer.

“The recent training that gives our staff the skills to help people who are deaf, blind or suffer from autism shows we are serious about this.”

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Mall staff learn sign language to help deaf shoppers

STAFF at intu Braehead have been taught basic sign language, so they can help shoppers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Sign language tutor, David O’Rorke shows Louise Reynolds how to spell out letters.

Customer service, security and cleaning staff at the shopping and leisure destination have been learning how to communicate by finger-spelling letters, phrases and numbers and how to sign greetings, pleasantries and directions.
The move follows staff being trained by Visablity Scotland to help people who are blind and a free service introduced to provide a trained guide to aid people who are visually impaired to get around the shops.

Staff spell out the name intu Braehead as the sign says above their heads

Staff have also been given specialist training by Scottish Autism, to make life more comfortable for people with autism when they visited Intu Braehead.

A specialist trainer in sign language was brought in by intu Braehead to teach up to 20 staff basic sign language skills during the two-day course.

Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Delia Henry, said: “It’s great that staff at intu Braehead are becoming more deaf aware and learning basic British Sign Language which will help them communicate better with deaf customers or colleagues whose first language is BSL.

“Scotland’s 13,000 BSL users would appreciate it if other shopping centres and retail staff followed intu Braehead’s lead and learned some signs or fingerspelling to welcome people who are deaf.”

Community development manager at intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “We want intu Braehead to be welcoming to everyone.

“And we hope that having staff trained in basic sign language will give people who are deaf an even better experience when they visit us.

“The staff who have taken part in the course realise the importance of deaf awareness and they’ll put their new skills to good use by assisting people who are deaf and putting them at ease during their time in our busy shopping centre.”

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intu releases origami money ‘birds’ to delight shoppers

Finding money voted Renfrewshire’s happiest surprise 

Hundreds of origami birds worth thousands of pounds have been folded and set free across 14 shopping centres nationwide including intu Braehead, following new research revealing that unexpectedly finding money is the nation’s most joyful surprise.

A team of experts spent over 130 hours folding hundreds of origami birds worth £10 each, which are being hidden to surprise and delight shoppers nationwide by intu, owner of some of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres.

The Spring release of the origami birds is part of intu’s pledge to make customers smile and follows research that it’s the simple surprises that bring the most happiness.

Finding money was voted Renfrewshire’s happiest surprise, followed by hearing from an old friend unexpectedly, getting a refund you thought was a bill, hearing your favourite song come on the radio and getting a compliment from a stranger.

The research also revealed that two in three people in Renfrewshire (66 per cent) get more happiness from something unexpected rather than something planned. More than two in five (44 per cent) of those surveyed said shopping makes them happier and nearly half (48 per cent) go shopping to cheer themselves up.

Women get more happiness from shopping than men nationwide with 42 per cent saying it makes them happier compared to 30 per cent of men. Women are also likely to browse for longer, staying in shopping centres for an average of 132 minutes (2hrs 12mins) versus just 84 minutes (1hr 24mins) for men. 

Christine Macdonald, Marketing Manager at intu Braehead said: “We hope our origami birds will put a smile on the faces of the customers lucky enough to find one within our shopping centres.

“We’re passionate about creating experiences that surprise and delight our 35 million customers and whatever type of shopper you are; we’ll have something for you.

“By focusing on key moments both large and small we aim to ensure each and every customer leaves our centres happier than when they arrived.”


  1. Finding money we did not know we had
  2. Hearing your favourite song on the radio
  3. Getting a refund that you thought was a bill
  4. Hearing from an old friend unexpectedly
  5. Getting a compliment from a stranger
  6. Realising it’s a weekend and not a work day
  7. Being made a cup of tea or coffee
  8. When your favourite film comes on TV
  9. Winning a scratch card
  10. Picking up the last product on a shelf

intu analysed the shopping habits of shoppers nationwide to come up with the seven types of shopper that are being represented by origami birds including a Hawk, the bargain hunter shopper who loves a good offer; Owl, the wise shopper who plans ahead; Chicken, the last-minute shopper; Duck, the shopper who makes a day of it with the family; Flamingo, the shopper who loves going shopping and looking good for the occasion; Swan, the window shopper who loves to browse around the shops; and Peacock, the over excited shopper who loves to shop for a big event or any special occasion.

The origami birds are being hidden throughout intu shopping centres across the UK including intu Braehead from 12-14 May.

For more information and clues on where to find them search #intuBirds on Twitter.

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Help is at hand from intu Braehead volunteers

BIG-HEARTED staff at intu Braehead have offered to put in some hard labour to help charities, community groups and schools.

Staff from intu Braehead previously helped create a garden at Todholm Primary School, in Paisley. From left, pupils, Mirin Gray and Zara Neil with intu Braehead general manager, Gary Turnbull

With generous donations from the centre’s management to pay for materials and with the expertise of tradesmen at Cardwell Nurseries, the staff will volunteer to work on projects that would benefit the local community.

Now the team behind the intu Volunteers Project is asking for people to submit their requests for help with tasks like landscaping, gardening, painting and decorating and repairs to damaged property.

The volunteering work is part of intu’s company-wide initiative encouraging staff to take time from their work schedule to help support charity, or community work.

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “In the past our intu volunteers project has created gardens, raised beds for growing vegetables and a sheltered outdoor classroom.

“The projects we choose would be completed in a day and we’re asking for charities, community groups and even schools to contact us with their ideas of tasks we can undertake.

“And of course, it won’t cost them a penny.”

Drew Gallagher, managing director of Cardwell Nurseries, who are based in Gourock, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for groups, who might not have a lot of funds, to have important work carried out that can make a difference to their community.

“We have many years of experience in carrying out this kind of landscaping and building work and we’re happy to share our expertise along with the intu Braehead staff providing the hard graft.”

Anyone wishing to apply for work or projects to be carried out should email braehead.community@intu.co.uk or call Lydia on 0141 885 1441.

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It’s mall about fashion for ex-Pussycat Doll Ashley

FORMER Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts today showed shoppers how to get the purr-fect summer outfit.

Ashley Roberts presenting fashion show at intu Braehead…photos taken by Jeff Holmes

She was hosting a series of Spring and Summer Fashion Shows, at the intu Braehead mall, near Glasgow over the weekend and hundreds of shoppers turned out to see the TV presenter give them the lowdown on the latest fashion trends.

Ashley Roberts with children’s clothes model, Savannah Hardie, aged six

Ashley shot to fame with the Pussycat Dolls, who sold more than 50 million records worldwide and after the group split in 2010, she carved out a successful TV career for herself.

Ashley’s credentials include co-hosting ITV’s primetime show, Saturday Night Takeaway, with Ant and Dec; taking runner-up on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and appearing as contestant on Channel 4’s The Jump.
She was also a judge on Dancing on Ice and this year was a guest judge on the BBC’s, Let It Shine.

Ashley Roberts with intu Braehead personal stylist, Victoria Martin

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paisley pirates

Pirates finished their season on a disappointing note as they relinquished the Scottish Cup to Dundee Comets, a hat trick from David Orr not being enough to prevent the league champions from going down to the Tayside outfit.

The Paisley side were hit by an opening blitz which saw the Comets hit two goals in twenty seconds in the fourth minute through Inglis and Hamilton and Gold, and while Orr’s goal did pull the score back to 2-1 after six minutes, Comets had their two goal cushion back in just over 60 seconds as Gold beat Meechan for a third time with under eight minutes on the clock, at which juncture Hepburn took over in the Paisley goal. However, he, too, was beaten in the 14th minute by a shot from Smith and the Comets went into the first break holding an already comfortable lead at 4-1.

Pirates needed an early goal in the second period to claw themselves back into the game, but it came at the wrong end as Dolan netted within a minute to give the Comets a four goal cushion with almost two full periods remaining. The champions did produce some fighting spirit and pulled back two goals from Orr, the third thus completing his hat trick, by the 37th minute to give a hint of daylight at 5-3, but Gordon shut the door again a minute later to take the score to 6-3 at the second break.

With Paisley looking down the barrel of a shotgun they pulled themselves back within two goals again after 45 minutes when Campbell beat Michie for 6-4, but once more the Comets slammed the door shut with a further two goals from Dolan and Whitelaw to end any lingering hopes of a last gasp fightback, and while Miller netted for 8-5 with just under two minutes to go, Comets had the final word with Gold scoring within thirty seconds to finish the scoring, sending Pirates home empty handed for the second time in a fortnight.

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Mall wins gold award

THE team at intu Braehead has been recognised for the way they encourage and train their staff.

From left, intu Braehead’s Laura Oliver, Paul Lucas and Gillian Macdonald with their Investors in People Gold Award cake

The shopping and leisure destination has been accredited with the Gold Investors in People Award.
And a special cake was created and presented to staff to mark the achievement.

The Investors in People scheme encourages and certifies best practice in people management and staff training with a rigorous assessment of a company or organisation’s performance.

General manager at intu Braehead, Gary Turnbull said: “Our most important asset is the people who work for us.
“Our on-going aim is to help them develop their abilities and careers to their maximum potential. We put a lot of time and effort into this, as it’s the best investment a company can make.

“Having previously won the Silver Award, we were keen to further improve our management and staff training practices even more and we’re delighted to have achieved that and won the Gold Award.”

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European Curling Championships bring £750,000 boost to Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire’s economy was boosted by almost £750,000 after hosting the European Curling Championships at Braehead Arena last year.

Research commissioned by UK Sport set out an impressive benefit to Renfrewshire achieved through an increase in the collective spend of visitors on accommodation, transport, food and drink, shopping, and other expenditure for the duration of the Championships, last November.

Retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs saw a direct benefit to their business as an increased number of visitors to the area generated an augmented spend compared with the same period in previous years.

The event saw 222 curlers from 27 different nations take part in one of the top events in the curling calendar and attracted 4000 spectators across the eight day period.

The Championships were brought to the area with the aim of maximising the economic impact of the event locally and also profiling Renfrewshire to international audiences which will support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which is due to be lodged at the end of this month.

The event was hosted in Renfrewshire through the co-operation of a number of funding partners- the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, UK Sport through National Lottery Funding, EventScotland and GCMB.

Bruce Crawford, CEO of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (the National Governing Body for Scottish Curling), said “Scottish Curling were delighted to bring this prestigious World Curling event to Renfrewshire; it was a pleasure to host Europe’s top curlers in a region with such historical significance for the sport and a growing pedigree in event hosting.”

The European Curling Championships formed part of an exciting calendar of events in 2016 which included the British Pipe Band Championships, Scottish Album of the Year Awards and Paisley’s annual music and comedy festival The Spree.

2017 will see those events return Paisley as well as many more including the 30th Paisley Beer and Food Festival, and Weave- a festival running alongside the traditional Sma’ Shot Day aimed at reconnecting Paisley with its weaving heritage as part of Scotland’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “As part our bid for UK City of Culture 2021, it is critical we showcase our ability to host large scale events in the area and the European Curling Championships are a key example of our capabilities.  It proves that Paisley has the infrastructure to handle the size and scale of a significant European event.

“The Championships provided the Renfrewshire economy with a boost of almost three-quarters of a million pounds, which indicative of what winning the UK City of Culture could achieve by hosting a series of high-profile events during 2021.”

“The prestigious title would act as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration and we’re determined to ensure there is a lasting impact for Paisley and Renfrewshire as a whole.”

Paisley’s bid is due to be submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)  who organise the UK City of Culture competition on 28 April with a shortlist announced over the summer and the winning bid being revealed in December.

Further information on Paisley’s bid and how to support it can be found on www.Paisley2021.co.uk

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