The £22m plans to transform Paisley Town Hall into one of the key venues in the west of Scotland will be led by the architects behind some of the UK’s best-known destinations.

Glasgow-based Holmes Miller – who worked on the redevelopment of Old Trafford and reshaped Hampden for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – will now help turn the inside of the 19th-century building into a 21st-century facility and preserve the future of the much-loved landmark.

The town hall will close in early 2019 and reopen in 2021 as a venue capable of attracting new events and footfall to the town and helping host the expansion of activity planned through the legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

It is one of the key projects within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and infrastructure over the next few years, as part of a wider plan to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.

The architects will now produce initial designs for the interior aimed at broadening the range of events the town hall can offer, and transforming the performance facilities and visitor experience.

The project will also include improved catering and conference facilities, better physical access, and replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems.

The town hall revamp is being run by the council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – a Scottish-Government-backed firm who help public-sector bodies get value for money when investing in large infrastructure projects.

The council worked with Hub West Scotland on the new Johnstone Town Hall – also designed by Holmes Miller – which has won a string of industry awards since it opened three years ago.

Renfrewshire Leisure – which operates the town hall – has already been working with regular town hall users to find temporary homes for their events while the building is closed, with other town centre locations and venues around Renfrewshire set to benefit from that activity.

The design process will involve working with users and stakeholders to ensure the venue meets contemporary needs.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of RL: “Paisley Town Hall has been a much-loved landmark at the heart of life in the town for almost 140 years – we want it to stay that way for the next 140.

“But like any heritage building, it needs investment to stay at its best – and with some work having been done on the outside of the building in 2012, the interior now needs a revamp.

“The appointment of Holmes Miller is a major boost – they bring huge expertise of working with listed buildings, entertainment venues and community facilities around the UK, and will help us equip the town hall for the future and keep it as a venue of which Renfrewshire can be proud.

“Over the coming months we will consult further with town hall users and the wider community so they can help us shape the future of their town hall.”

Other historic buildings Holmes Miller have worked on include the £60m redevelopment of Marischal College in Aberdeen, while their Renfrewshire projects include the new Park Mains High School and Renfrew Health Centre, as well as the new housing at Hawkhead village in Paisley.

Douglas Jack of Holmes Miller said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop our successful working relationship with Renfrewshire Council and Hub West with the regeneration of Paisley Town Hall, a landmark building in Paisley and a fantastic example of Victorian architecture.

“We very much look forward to working with the stakeholders and project team on this exciting project which will play a key part in the wider regeneration strategy of Paisley.”

Iain Marley, Hub West Scotland CEO: “The Hub West Scotland team are delighted and excited to partner with Renfrewshire Council on another key community investment project.

“The redevelopment of Paisley Town Hall will transform this well known and important heritage asset and create a vibrant new destination for the community.”

The investment in Paisley town centre over the next four years also includes a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination showcasing the town’s unique heritage and collections, predicted to bring around 125,000 visitors a year into the town centre.

The council last month appointed architects of international importance for the museum redevelopment – with the chosen firm AL_A having worked on landmark buildings around the globe, including the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter in London, and having recently been shortlisted for the competition to redesign the visitor experience at the Eiffel Tower.

Other big projects happening over the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street, a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre, major investment in town centre outdoor spaces and transport links, and new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields.

The plans build on the investment already made in the publicly-accessible museum store Paisley: The Secret Collection, opened last year on the town’s High Street, and the launch of the new destination brand and website at www.paisley.is

By Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough. Performed by Apphia Campbell.


Apphia Campbell’s incredible Fringe First Award winning show embarks on a summer UK tour, including a date at London’s Greenwich Theatre, prior to a return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Woke won the coveted Scotsman Fringe First Award for its premiere season in 2017, and was highly commended by the judges of the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award. Against stunning gospel and blues sung live, two women 42 years apart join the struggle for American civil rights: notorious Black Panther Assata Shakur and a present-day student enrolling as the Ferguson riots behind. Both challenge the American Justice system, become criminalised through political activism; and ultimately are faced with a choice to stay and fight or to flee. Created by Apphia Campbell whose previous shows include the hit Black is the Color of my Voice which has received critically acclaimed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and on National Tour.


Apphia Campbell is a singer, playwright and actress from Florida. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre performance from Florida International University and minored in Political Science. After college, she moved to New York where she pursued theatre and performed in Off-Broadway houses. In 2009, she moved to Shanghai, China where she sang blues, jazz, and pop in various venues including The Cotton Club, Park Hyatt, Le Meridian Hotel, and JZ music festivals. In 2012 she formed Play The Spotlight Theatre Company (PTS), a theatre company that focuses on new works and musical pieces. In 2013 she wrote her critically acclaimed piece, Black Is The Color Of My Voice and opened it in Shanghai to sold-out performances and rave reviews. She brought the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it sold out and has been touring the U.K and selling out in prestigious houses such as St. James Theatre, Wiltons Music Hall, and Oxford Playhouse. Her theatre credits include The Color Purple (James Harkness, WBTT Theatre), Black Is the Color Of My Voice (Edinburgh Festival and London), Holiday Hitch (PTS theatre), No Exit (Blue Lane Theatre), The Deciders (New York Fringe Festival) and Beehive (Temple Theatre). www.apphiacampbell.com

 

14-June Paisley Arts Centre Paisley renfrewshireleisure.com/arts / 0300 300 1210

Praise for the show includes:


★★★★ ‘Campbell is the most powerful voice of this year’s fringe.’ The Scotsman

★★★★★ Inspiring! A fast, exciting and engaging play that ended with most of the audience standing and applauding.’ British Theatre Guide

★★★★★ ‘Both roles are brilliantly performed by Apphia herself.’ British Theatre

★★★★ ‘Campbell is a formidable performer.’ The List

Paisley is the place to be this summer! Paisley First is bringing Jurassic Bricks – a free, interactive LEGO® Brick Dinosaur Trail to the town centre!

From Saturday 30th June until Sunday 12th August, there will be 15 large dinosaurs made out of Lego bricks on the trail plus two interactive play zones, a selfie zone and a find the Hidden Dinosaur Competition!

All of the dinosaurs will be situated within local businesses and everyone who completes the trail will have a chance to win prizes.

Paisley First Chairman, Graeme McGowan, said:” This will be a great event to showcase everything that Paisley has to offer this summer. “We are sure families will come from far and wide to enjoy this great, free day out during the school holidays.

“And after hitting the shops and enjoying our Jurassic entertainment, visitors can take advantage of our many cafes, restaurants and bars.

“There is so much to see and do in the town already and this will help cement the town’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

Paisley First will also be running the Golden Ticket Competition once again this summer with a weekly draw offering visitors the chance to win £250 of Paisley town centre gift vouchers! Come to Paisley for a great family day out this summer!

For more details see www.paisleyfirst.com

4,000 of world’s best pipers and drummers en route to Paisley

Thousands of people will gather to watch the world’s best pipe bands descend on Paisley next week – and they’ll be able to travel in style.

The British Pipe Band Championships – one of the biggest in the piping calendar – will see more than 4,000 pipers and drummers take over the St James Playing Fields for the free all-day event on Saturday 19 May, which includes a programme of family entertainment.

 

 

Event organisers Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association have teamed up with McGill’s to lay on a fleet of shuttle buses to ferry the army of spectators to and from the event – which runs from 10am to 6pm – free of charge.

And to give residents a flavour of the day, McGill’s took piper Alan McGeoch of the Johnstone Pipe Band – who will compete in the elite-level Grade One contest – on an open-top bus tour of Paisley town centre.

He was joined by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron – the chieftain of the event – and by dancers from the Christine Aitken Academy of Dance as he played for lunchtime commuters.

The championships will see almost 130 bands compete for some of world piping’s most prestigious titles, from the length and breadth of the UK, with international representation from Denmark and Ireland.

Free entertainment on offer includes an international food village and bar, funfair, street traders and Highland dancing competition. Renfrewshire Leisure staff will offer the chance to try out different sports, with activities run by Paisley Rugby Club, and Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff team.

McGill’s will run the shuttle buses from Paisley Gilmour St station, West College Scotland and St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 Stadium, with the latter two offering free event parking.

Visitors should note there will be no public parking at the event. Other transport options include getting the train to Paisley St James station, which is a short walk from the event site, or a McGill’s bus to Paisley town centre, and transferring to the free shuttle.

The event is in Paisley for the third year in a row – and is confirmed for a further three years, as part of the expanded programme of events planned via the legacy of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Last year’s event saw 12,000 visitors and generated almost £300,000 for the local economy.

Other Renfrewshire interest on the day will come from the KIlbarchan Pipe Band and the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band, who are supported via the council’s investment in free music tuition in local schools.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We are delighted to be once again hosting this great event, and welcoming our friends at the RSPBA, and thousands of the world’s best pipers back to Paisley.

“Hosting major events like this is helps to build on Paisley’s now-established reputation as a key destination on Scotland’s events map.

“Our historic town centre has many businesses who will be ready to welcome the thousands of visitors to Paisley with open arms and I hope as many of them as possible of will take advantage of the free shuttle bus service and enjoy a day or evening out here.”

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the RSPBA, added: “The British Championship is the first of our annual calendar of majors and most of the world’s top bands are going to be there.

“Paisley offers a central location with excellent transport links to and from the town and event site – and hopefully next Saturday will see a big crowd come down to enjoy a day of top-class piping.”

Rachel Stewart, Marketing at McGill’s said: “As a local company, we were thrilled to get involved and provide a free shuttle bus for attendees to travel easily to the event.

“For those travelling from further afield, we have a range of services that serve Paisley town centre, allowing customers to board their free shuttle bus at Gilmour Street. We’ll be attending on the day too – pop by to take part in some competitions or pick up a McGill’s goody bag.”

For more information on the championships and other Paisley events, visit www.paisley.is

SCOTTISH COMMUNITY DRUMMING GROUP MAKING IMPACT IN EUROPE

The good vibrations from a group drumming to improve their mental health have been recognised in Europe.

The Buddy Beat based in Renfrewshire in Scotland are in Ljubljana, Slovenia after being named among the final five finalists for the first Amateo Award.

Nearly 50 projects from 16 countries competed for the award which celebrates exceptional amateur arts projects that have had a profound impact on their community.

The shortlisted projects represented work from Denmark, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands and Scotland. All five will be represented at the announcement of the winner on the 10th May in Ljubljana, as part of the Amateo Conference ’Before You Say Yes’, hosted by Amateo member JSKD in Slovenia.

The Buddy Beat has been beating for 10 years in the heart of Johnstone, one of the most economically-deprived areas of Scotland.

Members meet once a week to drum and make music, gaining confidence in both their artistic and personal skills. They also regularly perform and lead drumming workshops in care homes fighting loneliness with good rhythm and company.

 

“We were absolutely astounded to be shortlisted,” said Jane Bentley of the Buddy Beat. “It was such a pleasure to deliver the news to the rest of the group, some people struggle to get out of their own front door of a morning, so for them to have the sense that that they are connected to a much bigger community of people all over Europe, I think that’s wonderful.”

Amateo, is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities in Europe.

The Network was founded in 2008 as the multi-disciplinary European organisation within the field of participatory arts and cultural activities. There are 32 national and regional umbrella groups and associations from 12 EU member states and 2 programme countries, with contacts to a huge network of regional and local associations within the European field of amateur arts.

Amateo sees active participation in the arts as a core value for a free and open society as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amateo’s new programme Arts Take Part – supported by Creative Europe – aims to grow and strengthen the network over the next four years. As part of this new programme and to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the first annual Amateo Award is being presented to celebrate participatory arts in Europe.

Aled Rhys-Jones – former Amateo president and member of judging panel said:

“The shortlisting jury for the first AMATEO Award considered 42 eligible applications from creative cultural projects in 16 different countries. The range of projects was startlingly diverse from established large scale events involving thousands of participants, to innovative, new, first-time-out projects led by individuals. I was amazed by the breadth of diverse applications in this our first AMATEO award and it was very gratifying for the jury to have such a breadth of high quality applications to consider”.

The winner of the Amateo Award will be announced on May 10 in Ljubljana at a ceremony celebrating the start of Slovenia’s annual festival celebrating the amateur arts, hosted by JKSD.

SHOPPERS are being let into the secret of how to be the height of fashion this summer.

Pictured
Cassi Gillespie of Clyde 1’s Bowie @ Breakfast.
Photograph by Martin Shields
Tel 07572 457000
www.martinshields.com
This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news). Any commercial or promotional use requires additional clearance.
Copyright 2015 All rights protected.
first use only.

They’re being invited backstage to the free Spring and Summer Fashion event being held at intu Braehead shopping centre, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 4 to 6 between noon and 5pm. Clyde 1 presenter Cassi will be hosting the event on Saturday and Sunday.

Fashion and beauty experts will be on hand to reveal the latest spring and summer trends with workshops featuring fashion, beauty, fitness, well-being and homeware.

A backstage theatre-style set has been created in the central atrium with a fashion model on hand to show off the best of the new summer outfits.

Marketing manager at intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “When summer comes along it’s a great chance to bring some sunshine and colour into your wardrobe.

“Our fashion event is an ideal opportunity to find out the latest tends and what everyone will be wearing this summer.”

CLAIRE FROM STEPS, MARTINE MCCUTCHEON,

GRAHAM NORTON, DAWN STEELE & MICHELLE MCMANUS

GUEST STAR IN ‘GARY LAMONT: DROPPING THE SOAP!’ TOUR 2018

Taking in an extensive tour of Scotland join Gary Lamont: Dropping the Soap! opening at Falkirk Town Hall 16 February. It’s the starriest show in town with guest appearances from 3 chart-topping popstars and the king of chat himself!  

Gary Lamont recently left the popular BBC Scotland soap opera ‘River City’ last year, his character Robbie Fraser leaving Shieldinch in a limousine with popstar Claire Richards.  

But while Robbie’s been hired as the hairdresser for the latest Steps tour, what’s next for Gary himself?  That’s the focus of his new comedy cabaret which sees Gary ponder his next move with the help of his pals.

Says Gary, “I’m loving doing my new show and especially working with all my amazing guest stars.  Claire from Steps is my childhood idol, Graham Norton is my favourite TV host, Dawn Steele is my favourite actress, Martine McCutcheon is my spirit animal and Michelle McManus is normally so expensive I can’t afford her.  So to have them all agree to take part and send themselves up has been incredible”.

Interview with Gary Lamont by Peter Greenwood of www.paisley.org.uk

Claire Richards “Gary managed to rope me in to film his exit from River City and now he’s made me take part in his show.  I have rather a lot on at the minute with the Steps tour so hopefully this will be the end of it all. If not I will consider a restraining order!  Seriously though, I loved having the chance to take part in Gary’s new show”.

Graham Norton “I absolutely loved Gary’s last show so I was happy to help out with his latest.  Who needs soap when you’ve got buckets of charm, hilarity and song like Gary? His show is a joyous revelation”.  

Fri 04 May – Adam Smith Theatre – 7.30pm www.onfife.com

Fri 11 May – Lochgelly Centre – 7.30pm www.onfife.com

Sat 12 May – Basement Theatre Edinburgh – 7.00pm www.gildedballoon.co.uk

Fri 25 May – Livingston Howden Park 7.30pm www.howdenparkcentre.co.uk

Sat 26 May – Byre Theatre St Andrews – 8pm www.byretheatre.com

 

Competition: 

Shattered, a new play written by Lisa Nicoll will tour Scotland with its first performance at Paisley Arts Centre, on Saturday, May 19.

Inspired by interviews and life experiences, Shattered deals with the universal themes of grief, loss and isolation as well as the things that are left unsaid between the people to whom we are sometimes the closest.

 

The play is a partnership between In Motion Theatre Company and the Scottish Cot Death Trust and will also be performed as part of the International Conference on Still Births and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in June in Glasgow.

 

Three years on from the sudden death of their baby, Lucy and Ben are struggling to find some kind of normality in their fractured world.   Lucy focuses, as she has for the last few months, on the people on the street who she watches day in and day out from her window, telling stories of them like a TV boxed set. She wants to be part of it all again. She wants to be close to Ben again.  Ben wants to be close to her and tries through humour and dancing to do this.

 

Lucy watches cafe owner Tom from the window; he is someone who used to be her friend, who visited her, who she confided in but who hasn’t acknowledged her for months.  He knows that she is there but he cannot speak to her or wave. Left alone for a few days in the flat Lucy has an encounter with stranger Katy which begins her reconnection with life.

 

The cast comprises Nicola Roy (Lucy), Gavin Jon Wright (Ben), Kirsty Findlay (Katy) and Nebli Basani (Tom).  Shattered is directed by Jordan Blackwood with lighting by Laura Hawkins, sound by Alan Orr and set and costume design by Fraser Lappin.  Creative biographies are attached.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We are always interested in new and innovative forms of arts and entertainment
“We’re particularly keen to give a platform to new writers, performers and artistic works. I’m sure audiences will enjoy this thought-provoking production of Shattered, when it debuts at Paisley Arts Centre.”

Sat 19th May, 7:30PM £10 / £8

Paisley Arts Centre
0300 300 1210 www.boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Some of Scotland’s best food and drink producers and vendors will be in Paisley this weekend for the annual Paisley Food and Drink Festival for what is set to be the event’s biggest year yet.

The festival takes place this Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April, when the very best of Scotland’s producers will showcase their wares to visitors in Paisley’s iconic Abbey Close. Visitors can enjoy a fantastic selection of street food vendors, food and drink stalls, interactive workshops, live music and Scotland’s largest real ale festival.

 

For the first time Pitt Street Food Market, Scotland’s first street food market which won the Scottish Street Food Awards and have catered Electric Fields and Meats and Beats Festival, will be at the festival with some of the best street food vendors from around Scotland such as shellfish and speciality meat vendor Barnacles & Bones, Scottish food favourite Bruadair, The Buffalo Truck and Harajuku Kitchen.

Hal Prescott of Pitt Street said: “The Pitt is delighted to be a part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. We’ll be bringing some award-winning traders, from far and wide across Scotland. Expect some stunning food, drinks and entertainment across an amazing couple of days.

 

“People should come along to the event and try some amazing international cuisine from some of the best street food traders in the country. Come down and try dumplings from a tuk-tuk, hanger steaks off a bespoke bbq or shellfish with gourmet fries. It’s going to be a feast for the senses.”

 

Foodie fans can also sample some more taste sensations from Babu Kitchen, Mighty Mexican, Linton and Co Coffee, Scozzese Pizza and Sharma Street Food. Smaller portion sizes for children and a range of halal, gluten free, veggie and vegan options will be on offer and visitors will also be able to sample a wide range of craft beers, small batch gins from Gin 71 and prosecco on tap from FizzBuz. Visitors will be able to purchase some great produce from the Farmers’ Market, trader stalls and craft market.

Cooking demonstrations will take place with former Masterchef the Professionals winner, chef Jamie Scott, to allow visitors to learn the best tricks of the trade.

 

Chef, Jamie Scott, said: “I’m really looking forward to being part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. Events like this are a great way to get insight into local producers, suppliers, restaurants and cafés.  It’s a great way for people to get involved with food particularly those that take an interest in cooking.”

There will be plenty to keep the kids entertained with a selection of free children’s workshops where they will have the chance to get some hands-on foodie experiences with Events Diva’s calzone and cupcake making sessions or Sweet Science’s fun food experiments. There will also be entertainment from kids favourite Mr Bloom.

 

Ben Faulks, who plays the role of Mr Bloom said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended the Paisley Food and Drink Festival before and it’s a great event that boasts a variety of different activities for the whole family to enjoy.

 

“I’m very much looking forward to making a return this year with my show, as well as getting the chance to sample some of the great activities on offer.”

 

There will also be a live music entertainment and giant lawn games providing all the ingredients for a great day out.

 

The festival will run alongside the Paisley’s Beer Festival which will take place from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 April run by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, which attracts people from all over Scotland and beyond.

 

To find out more about what’s on at Paisley Food and Drink Festival along with updates on other great events taking place in Renfrewshire please visit www.paisley.is.

Budding young cooking fans will be able to get some hands-on foodie fun experiences at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival.

Free cooking demonstrations will take place on Saturday 28 April at Abbey Close where kids can learn how to make their own calzone or whip up the perfect cupcake with Events Diva – the one stop shop for all things creative.

Paisley Food Festival

Future Heston Blumenthals can flex their creative muscles at the Sweet Science Workshops with Be Experimental where they will have the chance to make colour changing drinks, rainbows with skittles and create their own sweets to take away. They will also find out the answers to some of those age-old questions about sweets like ‘how are gummy sweets made?’, ‘how do you get those little holes in puff candy?’ and ‘why is sherbet so fizzy?’

In addition to the great workshops on offer every child’s favourite entertainer, Mr Bloom, will be at the event sharing his unique bundle of veggie stories, gardening games and catchy nursery songs for tiddlers and parents alike.

Ben Faulks, who plays the role of Mr Bloom said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended the Paisley Food and Drink Festival before and it’s a great event that boasts a variety of different activities for the whole family to enjoy.

“I’m very much looking forward to making a return this year with my show, as well as getting the chance to sample some of the great activities on offer.”

There are even more fun activities to enjoy at the Paisley Food and Drink Festival such as face painting, live music and giant lawn games including twister, jenga and snakes and ladders.

The festival will take place over two days for the first time ever on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 of April when the very best of Scotland’s producers will showcase their wares to visitors in Paisley’s iconic Abbey Close.

Foodie fans can sample some taste sensations from the likes of Pitt Street Food Market, Babu Kitchen, Mighty Mexican, Linton and Co Coffee, Scozzese Pizza and Sharma Street Food and there will be a chance to part with your pennies and pounds at the popular arts and crafts market.

Smaller portion sizes will be available for children and a range of halal, gluten free, veggie and vegan options will be on offer. People will also be able to purchase some great produce from the Farmers’ Market and trader’s stalls.

The children’s workshops are free to attend but numbers are limited so interested parties are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment. To find out more and book a place please visit: www.paisley.is/kidsworkshops.

To find out all the latest information on this and other events happening in Renfrewshire please visit www.paisley.is.