, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boost for Paisley town centre

The launch of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme is the latest initiative aimed at revitalising Paisley town centre.

L – R – Provost Anne Hall and Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council

The scheme is now open to receive grant applications to improve Paisley’s built environment following the launch of the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. The £4million project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and will be delivered over the next five years.

The programme aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.

Through the scheme building owners are able to apply for grant funding to invest in building repairs and shopfront improvements with a view to creating a high quality environment which will increase business interest and reduce the number of vacant properties in the area, while the money will also fund a programme of community activity designed to complement Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Mike Holmes, who was present at the launch said: “Paisley boasts an impressive built heritage only surpassed by Edinburgh. By investing in our built environment we will encourage more visitors and businesses to the area which will in turn increase footfall on the High Street and reduce the number of vacant properties.

“Through the scheme we, along with the support of HLF and HES, want to help building owners repair and improve their premises to help increase business interest. I would encourage building owners to find out more about the grant funding offered through this project and what the potential business benefits are likely to be.”

The launch of the scheme builds on the success of the initial £3.5m THI/CARS scheme which transformed the area around Causeyside Street including shopfront repair grants, public realm improvements and a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre.

Jim Peacock from Phelps Butchers benefited from funding during the initial THI/CARS initiative which covered improvements to the shop front and helped with the installation of a new roof. He believes it offers great a support opportunity for local businesses.

He said: “The funding we received helped make our shop front more attractive to customers by giving it a more traditional feel and you can see a real difference in the area as a result.

“Paisley is a great, historic town and it’s nice to see the local shops and buildings reflect that to help the town look better and more appealing to people.

“It was a no brainer for us to apply for the funding and we’ve really seen the benefit. I’d encourage others to jump on board and apply for the funding – improvements like these can only be a good thing for the town and for local businesses.”

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland, said: “This latest round of £1.8 million of National Lottery funding into Paisley will bring a real economic boost as well as restoring community pride into this important Renfrewshire town. The project will breathe new life into the centre making it a better place to live and work through the refurbishment of key historic buildings and the surrounding area.

“Sitting alongside physical regeneration there will also be real benefits for local people including training in traditional skills and a chance to learn more about the town’s fascinating industrial past including its world famous textiles.

“The National Lottery has invested £7m National Lottery into Paisley’s heritage allowing the town to reinvigorate its historic past making it a more vibrant place for the people who call this town home today.”

Michael Easson, Project Manager for HES, said: “We first awarded grant funding to Paisley through our Conservation Area Regeneration scheme in 2009, and since then the programme has played a significant role in supporting investment through heritage-led regeneration.

“The revitalisation of Paisley’s historic town centre is a great example of what can be achieved, with a number of historic buildings already back in use thanks to the funding. We’re looking forward to seeing even more regeneration work for the built environment in Paisley, and the benefits this will bring to the local community.”

A number of other projects have been implemented aimed at driving people back into the town centre including the relocation of Paisley Central Library to a vacant building on the High Street and plans for a £49million revamp to Paisley Museum. These projects are collectively expected to attract more than 250,000 people to the High Street each year.

To find out more about the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme please visit:www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/thcars2

For more information on the Council’s wider regeneration plans please visit: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Origins Gym offer free membership to Paisley 2021 business backers

A Renfrewshire gym is helping get Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 into shape – by offering free memberships to any other businesses who sign up to back the bid.

Origins Fitness founders Pam Berry, Graham Weaver and Graham’s daughter Ariella Weaver

Award-winning Origins Fitness, based in Hillington Park, has urged local businesses to get behind the Paisley 2021 bid by pledging one month’s free membership to supporters.

The gym was one of a number of organisations visited by the Culture Bus during its recent tour of Renfrewshire to raise awareness of the Paisley 2021 City of Culture bid.

Origins Fitness was founded by Graham Weaver and Pamela Berry in September 2011 and first opened in a 500 square foot rented personal training studio in Paisley’s Abercorn Street.

Origins Fitness founder Graham Weaver with his daughter Ariella Weave

However, the facility’s phenomenal rise in popularity led to the pair opening Origins Fitness Gym in Hillington Business Park just 10 months later.

The state of the art 5,500 square foot gym has since been crowned Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business at the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce ROCCO Awards 2016 and Glasgow’s Best Gym at the Move GB Awards in 2017.

To date, almost 200 local businesses and organisations have formally backed Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 – and Origins founder Graham reckons his offer will entice more to come forward and do the same.

Graham said: “We firmly believe that businesses should invest in their town. This is why we sponsor the Paisley Panthers ice hockey team, Paisley Spartans American Football team, Paisley Basketball Club, Jordan Gronkowski Racing Team, Derek Shanks XC mountain biker and are strongly backing the bid for Paisley 2021.

“I’m originally from Barrhead but spent all my time in Paisley – through work and university – and it used to be the busiest place. Over the years it’s been getting quieter so we totally believe in backing the bid and getting Paisley back into being a brilliant, popular and vibrant place.

“Health and fitness is also a massive bonus to workforces. So they’ll be able to say that, because they’re backing Paisley’s bid, they can give every single member of staff a free gym membership. Studies have shown that healthy staff are happy staff.”

Find out how you can back Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 by visiting http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/partners/

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looking for a good deal on a PC?

Core 2 Computing now have a  range of high spec Dell refurbished desktop PC’s currently in stock for March.

These include quad-core Intel i5 processors and large 22” monitors. These would be ideal for either business or home use and all come with everything you need to get you up and running including Windows, anti-virus and word processing software.

Also all our desktop refurbished PCs come with our 12-month hardware warranty for peace of mind and trouble free computing.  Give us a call on 0141 889 6363 as this stock is limited and did not last long last time we had these on offer.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A FIRST FOR PAISLEY FIRST

Paisley is set to become the first Business Improvement District (BID) in Scotland to have a gable end transformed into a giant mural.

The work highlights one of the town’s most eminent yet relatively unknown sons, Alexander Wilson, as well as iconic buildings and local wildlife.

Paisley First, the regeneration group tasked with breathing new life into the town centre, have launched the project to enhance the town’s image and tap into the creative potential in Renfrewshire.

A number of walls have been identified for the murals which form part of a series and the first is situated at Johnston Street. It depicts a beautiful kingfisher perched next to thread woven in between the branches, while the distinctive Coats Memorial Church appears in the background.

The kingfisher, a bird that can sometimes be spotted on the Cart, represents the life and work of Paisley’s Alexander Wilson, who is credited worldwide with establishing ornithology as a science. Originally a weaver poet, Alexander Wilson moved to America where he studied wildlife and travelled widely, documenting and drawing hundreds of illustrations of birds.

The Coats Memorial Church, an iconic part of Paisley’s skyline, was built in memory of Thomas Coats, founder of the town’s biggest thread firm.

This mural is designed to amalgamate just some of Paisley’s rich historical and cultural past.

Paisley artists Mark Worst, 26, and Ross Dinnett, 25, have just painted the three-storey mural and have undergone special safety training specifically for the job.

Mark said: “At 16m, this is one of the highest murals I’ve ever painted and it’s certainly the most unusual. Ross and I had to do training to operate the scissors lift to get up and down the gable end. It’s some height up there. “

Paisley First project leader, Melanie Hughes, who has developed this wall concept with the artists from the start said: “Thanks to additional funding from Renfrewshire’s Cultural Events and Heritage Fund this is going to be the first of many murals in Paisley’s town centre. We’re excited to see the reaction from the local community and town centre businesses.”

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson stated,

“This should help make the town centre more appealing to potential businesses and visitors, as well as to Buddies themselves.”

“It’s a project that will help breathe new life into the town and hopefully, raise its profile. Ultimately, we want this project to increase footfall and encourage people to spend money in local businesses.”

Melanie added: “By utilising the best of Paisley’s artistic talent we hope to create a colourful and vibrant town centre that people want to visit. In the future, we’d like to involve more people in the process by collaborating with community groups too.”

Ian said: “We asked local artists to submit their proposals for various locations around the town and we’ve had some terrific entries.”

“Some of Mark’s work can already be seen around the town in places such as Brown’s Lane where he has painted a spectacular mural on the outside wall of The Bungalow featuring Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.”

“He has also painted another mural on one of the walls of the beer garden at the popular Paisley pub DeBeers and produced the art work on the shutters of the music shop in Causeyside Street. “

Train travellers in Glasgow might also have noticed his city mural which was placed on huge boards at Queen Street Station while the main line to Edinburgh was being renovated recently.

Mark’s talents have also taken him abroad where he has also collaborated with other mural artists in Europe.

Paisley First would like to acknowledge the help and support they have received from Paisley Housing Association and its tenants who have been kind enough to allow us to use their gable end.”

A spokeswoman for the association said: “We are delighted to support the installation of this mural which will bring beauty and energy to the local area. This statement piece showcases local artists and celebrates Alexander Wilson, his life and work, and his special place in the rich history of Paisley. “

“The association is committed to continuing its tradition of regeneration and improvement which boosts the local community and this Paisley First initiative is going to have a real positive impact on the town centre.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gavin Newlands MP joins campaign to save lives

Every single year in the UK, 30,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. Sadly, just less than 1-in-10 survive. It’s time to take action.

As part of European Restart a Heart Day, Gavin Newlands MP visited The Oliver King Foundation at their launch event in Westminster to show his support.

The Oliver King Foundation was set up following the tragic death of 12-year-old Oliver King from a sudden cardiac arrest, which kills 12 young people every single week. Oliver was winning a swimming race at school.

In 2012 footballer Fabrice Muamba was shocked 16 times by a lifesaving defibrillator in front of the nation.

Early access to a defibrillator is vital. For every minute that passes, chances of survival drop by 10%.

Signing up to become a Defibrillator Champion for Renfrewshire, local MP Gavin Newlands, said:

“I am proud to become a lifesaving Defibrillator Champion for my local area. It is vital that we take action to prevent any loss of life where one can be saved. The Oliver King Foundation spoke to me about their desire that every school has access to lifesaving defibrillators.

“It was interesting to hear from the Foundation about how many lives have been saved, including a caretaker at a school who had only received the defibrillator two weeks earlier. I will be delighted to work as a Defibrillator Champion, as saving lives is a legacy that we can all be proud of.”

Jake Morrison, Chief Executive of The Oliver King Foundation said:

“We are delighted that Gavin Newlands MP has signed up as a Defibrillator Champion. It is important that we spread awareness of the vital need for this equipment in our communities. Our Members of Parliament have a great platform and connection in their constituencies to spread this message.

We look forward to working with Gavin and saving lives for years to come.”

Mark King, father of 12-year-old Oliver King who died from a sudden cardiac arrest said:

“5 years ago when my son Oliver passed away from this hidden heart condition, we didn’t know that his legacy would reach this far. We are determined to save as many young lives as possible, so that no other family has to suffer a similar loss to that of ours.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arts centre’s 30th anniversary celebrations – and all that jazz!

THEY just can’t stop the music at Paisley Arts Centre.  As part of Paisley Arts Centre’s 30th anniversary celebrations, free jazz music gigs are being staged in the café bar after three shows in the main auditorium.

jazz singer Evelyn Laurie who will be doing a series of free gigs at Paisley Arts Centre cafe-bar


Jazz singer, Evelyn Laurie will perform along with guitarist, Frank Bolam from 9.30pm until 11pm after concerts by Breabach, on Saturday, March 4; Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive, on Friday, March 31 and Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra, on Friday, April 21.

A series of events is being planned to mark the Arts Centre’s 30th anniversary. As part of marking the occasion, Renfrewshire Leisure – which runs the venue – are asking people to send them their memories and experiences of the Arts Centre over the years.

People should email PAC30@renfrewshire.gov.uk with stories they’d like to share.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Paisley Arts Centre does exactly what is says on the tin – it’s the centre of much of the arts and culture that’s been going on in Paisley for the past 30 years.
“It’s only right that in the year Paisley is bidding to be City of Culture 2021 we should celebrate a venue that’s played an important part in the culture of our town.
“Having a jazz singer perform following some of the music events in the main auditorium gives people added value and extends their enjoyment from their visit to Paisley Arts Centre.”

To book tickets for Breabach, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive and Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra performances, at Paisley Arts Centre, log on to or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts   or call 0300 300 1210.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FREE function hire at 42 New Street

FREE function hire at 42 New  Street, including FREE DJ – are you looking to have a birthday, wedding, engagement, christening, hen night etc then get in touch.

For more information give us a call on Call 07493 674559.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley Opera

Paisley Opera:  Opera for and with the people of Paisley, an idea born out of passion and a belief that opera can speak directly to all kinds of people.

What is Paisley Opera…?

Paisley Opera is an idea born out of passion and a belief that opera can speak directly to all kinds of people.

We want to create a company that the people of Paisley can be proud of. This means creating and staging opera in unpredictable and unusual places.  It means opening the doors and inviting people in to watch our work and to work with us. This means sharing a great art with great people. It’s a different way of making opera, one that we’ve put a lot of thought, experience and research into. We need you to come and be part of it.

Who are we….?

We are a group of highly experienced professional singers, musicians, stage directors and technicians who have in common a passion for keeping opera alive and about involving local people in the company as much as we can. Our artistic director, Simon Hannigan moved to Paisley in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the town becoming more and more convinced that Paisley is an ideal place for this long-planned project.

As Urban Opera, we put on our first performance in Paisley at the University of The West of Scotland in December 2015. Since then we have been planning on how best to make the company a real part of this great town.

We need YOU !

How can I get involved…?

Come and be a volunteer.  There are several ways you can help: We are starting a volunteer chorus in February of this year. This will be the core of the company. It’ll be supported by experienced professional singers who will be there to help and inspire us all as we sing some of the great choruses.

What experience do I need? None at all, lots or somewhere in between. In other words, anyone can join. There are no auditions for the voluntary chorus, so whether you have sung in choirs and would like to try something a bit different or haven’t sung since someone at school told you that you couldn’t, come and join us !

But I can’t sing… We firmly believe that everyone, given the right help can sing. So if you’ve always thought you couldn’t but would like to try.. Come and join us. We’ll help you find your voice.

Do I need to read music? No. If you can read music, great, but there will be plenty of help available for learning your parts. Apart from rehearsals, we’ll be sending out sound files with your parts so that you can practice them at home.

Are there age restrictions ? We welcome anyone of 18 years to 98 and beyond ! In the future, we will be looking to involve under 18s, but we need to get the adult chorus up and running first.

Our Programme for this year:

Weekly rehearsals start Monday 27th February, so either find us and register online on our Facebook
page @paisleyoperaproject

Or just turn up on the night… you’ll be made very welcome!
Wallneuk North Parish Church Halls, Abercorn St, Paisley PA3 4AB

Free concert involving some great opera chorus tunes and some solo numbers on Friday 21st April. Venue will be revealed nearer the time.

Autumn 2017:  A specially-devised piece which will revolve around one of the great events in Paisley’s history… More information later.

The Future
After our first year we plan to put on full-scale productions in unusual venues with the chorus at the heart and using experienced professional principals.
Contact:
Email: paisleyopera@gmail.com
Facebook: @paisleyoperaproject
Phone: 07702 424528 (Simon Hannigan)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Helen and James prove you’re never too old for romance

LOVED-UP pensioners Helen and James McLaren have been married for 56 years – but they’ve shown you’re never too old for romance.

Helen and James McLaren

Helen, 75, wrote a message to her 80-year-old hubby, James on a cardboard leaf and hung it on a branch of the intu Braehead Love Tree, as part of the shopping and leisure destination’s Valentine’s celebrations.

Scores of people hung messages on the Love Tree and Helen’s was chosen to win a £500 holiday voucher, from Barrhead Travel.

Helen’s message to James read: “You’ve been my Valentine for 57 years.”

According to the romantic couple, who live in Erskine, Renfrewshire, it was love at first sight when they both met at a house party and James plucked up the courage to ask Helen if she would go to the cinema with him the following week.

One date followed the other and just over a year later James and Helen were married in July, 1960. Now, the couple have four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Helen said: “I saw the Love Tree in the shopping mall and on the spur of the moment I thought I would write a wee message for James.
“We’re quite romantic and have never missed sending each other a Valentine’s card since we started going out all those years ago. We just seem to get on with each other.”

James said: “I just love Helen’s attitude to life and when I first met her at my pal’s party, I had asked her out before the end of the night.”

And he joked about the secret of a long and successful marriage: “I just do what I’m told and a lot of hoovering at home!”

Helen is planning to spend the Barrhead Travel holiday voucher on a trip to Rome.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “James and Helen are such deserving winners we hope their trip to Rome is a romantic as they are.
“Cupid was certainly on target with his bow and arrow on the night they met.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NHS to close RAH Children’s Ward and move specialist services to Glasgow

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) have voted to move specialist services from the Children’s Ward at the RAH in Paisley to Glasgow, effectively closing the ward.

Services that will continue to be provided on the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s include outpatient services, the specialist Community Paediatric service (PANDA), and emergency care via A&E.

NHSGGC Board members voted in favour of the proposal to deliver paediatric in-patient care for children from the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC).

The result of the vote will now be sent to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport for consideration.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that it is anticipated that around 8,006 episodes of care will transfer to the RHC while 12,063 will remain at the RAH.

The board members took into account views expressed during the 12 week consultation and acknowledged the range of clinical benefits of improving the acute and specialist services offered to children in the Clyde area before reaching their decision.

John Brown, chairman, NHSGGC, said: “Today we saw a detailed discussion on this service change following the conclusion of the consultation.

“Our staff carried out four consultation events and nine drop in sessions across the Clyde area to help patients and their families share their views with us and allow us to answer any questions they may have.

“The board has today recognised the overwhelming clinical support and decided that young patients from Clyde will now benefit from the same first class, state-of-the-art facilities as other children from across the West of Scotland who already attend the hospital.

“The RHC is one of the finest paediatric teaching hospitals in the UK and the largest in Scotland. The entire focus is around children and young people, with care provided in a child-friendly environment.”

It was also noted that four petitions, with approximately 6,600 signatures, were submitted on the service change to the board.