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Pride of Paisley Auction

Autumn Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

On Friday 21st October, 2016 the Pride of Paisley lions will be auctioned with proceeds raised going to the Accord and St. Vincent’s hospices.

Autumn Lion Courtesy of David Muir

Autumn Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

Painted predominantly by local artists, these twenty-five colourful lions have adorned Paisley streets since July as part of the biggest public art project in the town’s history.

Sun Lion Courtesy of David Muir

Sun Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

This Paisley First initiative has raised awareness of the town’s cultural and heritage assets, and attracted new visitors and tourists as part of the town’s culture-led, regeneration strategy. Paisley’s BID manager, Andrew Mitchell said: “The auction will be a fantastic night and will give us the final opportunity to say goodbye to lions whilst raising money for two valuable causes. Thousands of people took part in the art trail, taking them to parts of Paisley they had never seen before. These people also used local shops and businesses they had never used before. We still have some tickets available, so if you’ve nothing planned for Friday, then come and take part in the auction.”

Friday’s auction will take place at  The Normandy Hotel and tickets are priced £36, which includes a three-course meal, live entertainment and of course, the chance to bid on one of your favourite lions. Scottish legend, Andy Cameron, will host the event and there will be live music from Clanadonia, Paisley’s own Cat Caldwell, Iain Forbes and newcomers, Clyde. For those who can’t make the auction but still want to bid on a lion, you can also visit paisleyfirst.com to download an advanced auction bid form. On the evening, the auctioneer will start with the highest minimum bid received. The Pride of Paisley auction starts at 7pm and is going to be streamed live on the Pride of Paisley Facebook page.

Tickets available here.

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Arnotts building keeps hold of family ties

Ricardo Cardosi, Councillor Mark Macmillan, Dennis Liddell and Brian Clarke with a before and after picture of the Arnotts building

The iconic Arnotts listed building in Paisley received a visit from owners new and old today as it continues to be brought back to life.

Ricardo Cardosi, Councillor Mark Macmillan, Dennis Liddell and Brian Clarke with a before and after picture of the Arnotts building

Ricardo Cardosi, Councillor Mark Macmillan, Dennis Liddell and Brian Clarke with a before and after picture of the Arnotts building

Dennis Liddell, a member of the Cochran family who originally owned the building, accepted a framed before and after picture from Council Leader Mark Macmillan and the Directors of Park Lane Developments.

The site is now jointly owned by a partnership between the council and Park Lane Developments who have worked together to restore the building to its former grandeur- with the addition of 11 luxury apartments in the listed frontage on Gauze Street.

The apartments added to the 31 flats built by the Link Group- all of which have been sold- as part of a long term plan bringing the site back into use.

The redevelopment of one of Paisley’s most recognisable buildings is continuing with the planned opening of a 120-seater restaurant- called Pendulum- due to be opened next year by the owners of the town’s existing Cardosi’s restaurant.

There are also plans for a further 22 flats on the Smithhills Street side of the site.

Dennis said: “We are delighted the building has been brought back into economic use by the developer. It was always extremely sad to see it lying empty for a number of years and falling into disrepair.

“Our hope is the development will be a big success and contribute towards the regeneration of Paisley Town centre- whilst not forgetting its origin of a small house belonging to my great great grandfather who started the then family business of Robert Cochran & Son.”

Councillor Macmillan, said: “The Arnotts building is an iconic part of Paisley’s town centre and it was disappointing to see it neglected for so long.

“We are working hard to redevelop the town centre and while we have to accept that the retail world has changed in recent years, we are still able to utilise the building to bring footfall back into Paisley.

“Park Lane have completed a fantastic set of luxury flats on the site and these will be complimented by a further 24 flats to be built by Link Group. This combined with the opening of a new restaurant on the ground floor will ensure the building is kept at the heart of Paisley with people being brought back into the town.

“We’re using our rich culture and heritage to advance our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the redevelopment of the Arnotts is another step towards revitalising the area.”

Brian Clarke, Park Lane Developments Director, said: “Park Lane are delighted to have had a partnership with Renfrewshire Council to redevelop this iconic frontage in the heart of Paisley town centre.

“The listed façade, which dates back to 1925, had lain derelict for over 10 years and it’s extremely satisfying to see this impressive building for Paisley brought back into beneficial use”.

The redevelopment of the Arnotts site is part of a wider town centre regeneration programme which includes a £56.7m refurbishment of Paisley Museum, the creation of a new museum store on Paisley High Street and a £5m investment turning the Russell Institute into a skills and development hub.

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Renfrewshire Council launches economic action plan with consultation period

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Local people and businesses are being encouraged to provide their views on a Renfrewshire Council strategy which sets out its plans for the economic regeneration of the region.

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Launched today (Monday 17 October), the Renfrewshire Economic Framework (REF) is accompanied by a consultation period, which will culminate with public events at Paisley Town Hall on Thursday 3 November and Wednesday 9 November.

The REF is a two year strategy which aims to take advantage of the region’s huge potential and significant role in the development and growth of the wider Glasgow City Region and Scottish economies, to build a better Renfrewshire for all.

The REF sets out a clear strategy for establishing the region as an attractive place to live, work and visit, emphasising that Renfrewshire is open for business. It contains 10 near term strategic priorities which will create more and better jobs through supporting growing businesses, attracting new investment and ensuring the foundations are in place to sustain that growth in the long term.

Renfrewshire Council leader, Mark Macmillan, said: “Renfrewshire is a region with huge potential which also faces significant challenges, including areas of deprivation and increasing pressure on public services as Scottish Government budgets are reduced.

“However, we have the means to help overcome these challenges and are ambitious about how we can go about tackling poverty, raising attainment, and regenerating our town centres. We are committed to creating a fairer, more inclusive place where all our people, communities and businesses thrive.”

Linking with existing Council initiatives, including the £274m investment in Renfrewshire’s three City Deal projects and Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021, the Economic Framework provides a clear sense of direction for achieving the creation of a stronger and more vibrant economy.

The Economic Framework’s 10 near term strategic priorities are:

  • Creation of a Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel
  • Accelerating development of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area
  • Meeting housing needs and aspirations
  • Regenerating and investing in Paisley Town Centre
  • Developing and investing in our cultural and heritage assets
  • Promotion of Renfrewshire
  • Tackling disadvantage, targeting deprivation and supporting people
  • Skills escalation and development
  • Strengthening transport infrastructure
  • Outward looking – connecting with the Glasgow City Region

Renfrewshire Council is also consulting on the Paisley Town Centre – 10 Year Action Plan, a component of the REF. This identifies four activity areas which will help to reinvigorate Paisley and create a Town Centre which works better for all of Renfrewshire.

Those four areas are the: Gilmour Street Gateway, High Street and UWS Campus, Abbey and River Precinct, Improving Connections (in to the Town Centre). It is intended that this will build on the success of the culture and heritage strategies to establish Paisley’s position and reputation as an innovative and exciting destination for local people, visitors and businesses.

The consultation period for both the REF and Paisley Town Centre Action Plan which began on Monday 17 October will culminate with a public engagement event at Paisley Town Hall, on Thursday 3 November (from 11.30am to 2.30pm) and Wednesday 9 November (from 5.30pm to 7.30pm). This will allow the public to hear first-hand about the proposals and their associated benefits, while also providing the opportunity to give feedback.

The consultation period ends on Thursday 10 November.

That feedback can also be provided by completing the Council’s short survey at:  www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

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Businesses urged to prepare for winter weather

Councillor Eddie Devine

Renfrewshire businesses are being advised to prepare early for severe weather this winter by taking precautionary measures.

Councillor Eddie Devine

Councillor Eddie Devine

As part of Renfrewshire Council’s #RenReady campaign, businesses are recommended to consider how well they are equipped to deal with an emergency incident.

Creating a business continuity plan will help understand and manage the risks faced by the organisation in the event of extreme snowfall, flooding or similar.

80% of businesses affected by a major incident (that don’t have business continuity planning arrangements in place) either never re-open or close within 18 months.

Businesses are also advised to prepare a grab bag with essential items which can be easily accessed should the premises be evacuated or is unable to be accessed.

Items such as a copy of key contact information, copies of insurance documentation, company cards and a copy of the business continuity plan can be included to ensure resilience can be achieved following an emergency.

Organisations are also encouraged to be aware that harsh weather conditions could leave staff unable to travel to work and therefore should evaluate the risks and provide solutions to being understaffed during this time

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board said: “It is important that our businesses are able to remain open no matter the weather and we will do all we can to assist in making this possible during the winter period.

“We have a committed workforce on call 24/7 to keep our roads clear of dangerous snow and ice but we also recognise that there are other hazards which can affect normal business operation.

“Clearing the pathways and areas around your premises will allow regular operation to continue to the benefit of Renfrewshire, your business and the community.”

Business owners looking for more information on winter safety on their premises can go to www.readyscotland.org.

For more information about the Ready for Winter campaign, including how your business can be prepared for the winter period, go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/prepareyourbusiness

Updates on gritting and winter weather advice are also available on Renfrewshire Council’s Twitter @RenCouncilNews and Facebook page www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil and use the hashtag #RenReady.

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Glasgow Airport preparing for the Oct Week rush

glasgow airport


More than 160,000 passengers expected this weekend 

Glasgow Airport is today gearing up for one of its busiest periods of the year as tens of thousands of holidaymakers prepare to jet off for the October holiday week.

glasgow airport

Over 160,000 people are expected to pass through the airport between today and Monday 17 October with many flying out to popular sunspots in the Canary Islands and Florida and city break destinations such as Prague, Dublin, Milan, Paris, Berlin, Las Vegas, and New York.

In anticipation of the busy period ahead, the airport and its airline partners will have extra staff on hand to help guide passengers, particularly those with young children, through check-in.

Francois Bourienne, Glasgow Airport’s commercial director, said: “The October school break is a huge week for us, and follows on from the busiest summer in our 50-year history when we welcomed nearly three million passengers through our doors between June and August. This weekend in particular will be very busy and we are expecting to welcome even more passengers than we did during the same period in 2015.

“To ensure our customers enjoy a smooth journey through the airport we will draft in more staff across the terminal over the weekend, while young children can enjoy face-painting and other arts and crafts hosted by the airport’s ambassadors at our designated Kids’ Zone on Friday and Saturday.

“As always during peak periods at the airport, we advise customers to arrive in plenty of time to get through check-in and security.”

Towards the end of this month Ryanair will launch four new winter sun routes to Alicante, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Malaga, while Thomson will introduce a new Cape Verde service.

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Glasgow Airport passenger figures release

Amanda McMillan, MD, Glasgow Airport


  • 4.2% increase in September’s passenger numbers
  • EU scheduled services up 12%

Glasgow Airport has recorded its busiest September in 50 years after 934,295 passengers travelled through its doors, representing an annual increase of 4.2%.

Amanda McMillan, MD, Glasgow Airport

Domestic and international traffic grew by 4.2% and 4.3% respectively with major events, such as the Davis Cup and Celtic’s participation in the Champions League proving big draws for visitors to the city.

Strong demand for Ryanair’s service to Derry and extra capacity on easyJet’s Bristol and Belfast services bolstered domestic travel. International passenger numbers were also boosted by a 12% rise in EU scheduled services with flights to Brussels, Paris, Milan and Barcelona all proving popular.

September also saw the launch of Ryanair’s new direct flights to Sofia, Bulgaria and Icelandair added further capacity by increasing its Reykjavik route to a daily service.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Our strong performance throughout the year continued in September, which was also the fourth consecutive month the airport carried more than 900,000 passengers.

“We are on course to record our most successful year and this success can be attributed to our continued focus on not only attracting new services, but working closely with our current airlines to enhance existing services.

“Looking ahead, we are now gearing up for the October Week, which is traditionally our busiest period of the year as tens of thousands of passengers jet off on both sun and ski breaks.

“October will see Ryanair launch four new routes to Alicante, Malaga, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote and the introduction of Thomson’s new Cape Verde service.”

Traffic summary

September 2016

Terminal passengers




October 2015 to September 2016 %


934,295 4.2% 9,209,917 8.17%
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Champion Vet – Valuvet Plan

champion vets paisley

Save 15% on your vet fees – 1000’s of others have and are enjoying REAL savings on their consultations, routine neutering, blood tests, medications, pet foods and in fact everything we do!

champion vets paisley

Join our exclusive Valuvet Plan and this standing discount will be added to your account. Paisley people find our prices very reasonable anyway, so your saving may be even greater!

Our Valuvet Plan, starting at £12.10 per month also includes full annual vaccinations, monthly prescription worm, flea and tick treatments and a credit facility for any unexpected larger bills

We are proud of our plan and proud of our vets and nurses, who are all experienced clinicians dedicated to treating your pet.

Please give us a try if you haven’t been to us before! Call 0141 889 7638 and speak to Dianne or Lara – or why not just pop into our surgery on Kilnside Road to register?

For more on the Valuvet Plan visit  www.championvet.com/valuvet

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New technology deal will help make Council services more efficient


Renfrewshire Council has signed up to roll out a new leading-edge business technology that will improve the efficiency of the council, supporting its focus on the delivery of local public services.


The new Enterprise Resource Planning system is a web-based platform that provides a single route into information that many council employees use day-to-day to deliver local public services, such as financial information and purchasing and personnel systems.

The system which is being implemented and supported by leading digital technology specialist, Agilisys, is designed to streamline the council’s business processes and remove duplication and paperwork.

This will make better use of the council’s resources and, by providing council managers with real-time, up to date information, help them to plan and manage services better.

Renfrewshire Council chief executive, Sandra Black, says that the new system is an important step in the council’s ongoing plans to become a more modern, efficient organisation:

‘This is an important part of our plans to continually review and improve the way we work and deliver efficient services for our residents, communities and businesses.

‘The new system will make it simpler and quicker to get things done which will benefit our customers and ensure that we make best use of our budget to deliver frontline services.’

Andrew Mindenhall co-founder and Director at Agilisys added:

“We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire council, as well as the growing number of other local authorities we are working with across Scotland to help transform public services using our expertise in innovative technology and digital transformation.”

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Linstone Housing Triple Threat at this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing Excellence Awards.


Linstone have been shortlisted for the third year in a row for an amazing three awards at this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland Excellence Awards. [1]


The awards aim to showcase exemplary individuals and initiatives that deserve to be recognised, and the team at Linstone is delighted to have been shortlisted following a rigorous judging process for the Developing Skills and Capacity, Excellence in Housing Innovation and Bob Allan Young Achiever in Housing Awards.

The Developing Skills and Capacity Award highlights organisations that have developed an outstanding culture of learning and development. Director of Finance and Corporate Services Gary Dalziel said:-

“Linstone Housing recognises that our staff are one of our biggest assets that and by providing an environment where they can develop and grow we are continuing to improve in the larger performance of the organisation and the service which we provide to our customers.”

The Connect4Renfrewshire project has been selected as a finalist for the Excellence in Housing Innovation award for harnessing the best of existing advice provision to provide an innovative, holistic and streamlined approach to tackling poverty in the communities of 3 housing associations in Renfrewshire. Project Coordinator Debs Allan said “Being selected as a finalist for this award recognises the commitment we have to utilising services in the area and making sure that customers get the best outcome possible.”

Finally, Corporate Communications Assistant Emma McShane has been shortlisted for the Bob Allan Young Achiever in Housing Award, which aims to recognise individuals under 30 who can demonstrate that they have shown passion, commitment and flair in putting the human aspects of tenant or client services first. Emma was earlier this year recognised as the Top Intern in Renfrewshire at the 2016 Invest in Renfrewshire Awards.[2]

This recognition follows hot on the heels Linstone Housing’s recent success at the Scottish Home Awards where they received the Customer Service Excellence Award and were shortlisted for Housing Association of the Year.

[1] http://www.cih.org/excellenceawards

[2] http://www.investinrenfrewshire.com/aiming-higher-awards/

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Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd launches new micro-website to support a new arm of the business.


Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd has recently launched a new website to support another subsidiary of the business – Sandbags for Sale. Along with importing and distributing de-icing salt, Salt and Grit has been manufacturing and distributing filled sand bags for some time. It certainly seems that the UK is experiencing more flooding than ever before, and following on from the success of the product last year the management team made the decision to develop a new brand for sandbags.


The website, www.sandbagsforsale.co.uk will help drive sales UK wide and grow the company into a more prominent player within the market. The website provides lots of useful information including flood warnings and alerts, along with helpful guides on how to use sandbags properly for flood protection. The company manufactures filled, polypropylene sandbags. Each bag is machine stitched, allowing the bags to keep their rectangular shape. This may seem like a small difference from other sandbags available, however, it has a great impact on the product and allows sandbag walls to be built more effectively than when using funnel neck bags. The sandbags are industrial quality and as the company can cater for bulk orders, ideal customers include local authorities, traffic management and construction companies. That being said, they have had a number of domestic customers looking for half a dozen bags to weigh down garden items – like trampolines!


Speaking about the new sandbags website, Lisa Taylor, Marketing Executive at Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd says, ‘We are very happy with the design of the website, and would like to thank the development team at Xtensive Web for their role in making it clear, concise and informative. Extending and developing our product range is a strategic move that enables us to sustain and grow the business whatever the weather. From fair weathered landscaping supplies under our Rukeri brand, de-icing salt for the winter months and sandbags for flood prevention and protection – we continue to offer our customers helpful products UK wide, all year long.’

Based at North Arkleston Farm in Paisley, Salt and Grit Solutions has successfully developed the Rukeri brand over the past few years and has become a firm favourite for landscaping supplies within the local community. For more information on both brands, please visit the websites below.