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LEADING PAISLEY COMMUNITY WEBSITE BACKS PLANS FOR TOWN’S NEW PERFORMING ARTS VENUE

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Paisley.org.uk, Paisley leading community focused website founded by Brian McGuire has announced its full support and backing of Paisley Community Trust’s proposed plans for a new Performing Arts and Film Theatre for the Town.
As part of a series of early stage discussions, first draft designs of the Trust’s proposed Performing Arts and Film Theatre have been shared with key stakeholders

in the Town. The plans, created by award winning architects Stallan Brand, outline the Trust’s proposals for a new state of the art community facility featuring a flexible main theatre, secondary studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, dance studios, several unique cinema spaces as well as bar and restaurant facilities.

 

Paisley Community Trust carried out a comprehensive feasibility study into the project and identified an overwhelming market demand for such a facility in the town. At present a number of sites have been shortlisted with a preferred option emerging.

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Final plans are set to be publicly unveiled in September 2017. “We were delighted to be approached by Paisley Community Trust to review their plans for the newly proposed Cinema and Theatre for the town. What can we say, we were blown away with what we saw! The designs look amazing. Having been a massive supporter of the town and with close relationships to the communities, we have a fairly good idea of what people are looking for and what the town needs. The Trust’s plans are exactly what the town needs. It will put Paisley back on the cultural map, not just locally but nationally. It will attract people and communities back into use the town.

You’ll be able to take part in a variety of classes or to catch a movie or a show. There is no doubt this will provide the transformation the town needs. Community groups, Council and Paisley Buddies need to get behind the Trust’s vision. We’re in!”

Brian McGuire, Founder, Paisley.org.uk

“Paisley.org.uk is without doubt one of the key websites for Paisley. They work closely with the town, businesses and community.

They have their finger on the pulse when it comes to what the town needs. We were nervous in showing them because we really respect their knowledge, however we shouldn’t have been. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Their backing and support confirms the need in the town for what we are planning. We’ve agreed that Paisley.org.uk will be one of our key partners in engaging and discussing with the town’s communities. We’re delighted to share a teaser image for Paisley.org.uk to exclusively publish with more news to come!”

Gary Kerr, Chairman, Paisley Community Trust

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Rocco Winners

A sell–out crowd of 500 people watched 16 awards presented at the ROCCO’s on Friday 18th Nov at the Normandy Hotel, Renfrew – the annual business awards of  Renfrewshire Chamber.

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The area’s premier business event, now in its thirteenth year was sponsored by Paisley 2021 for UK City of Culture.   Chamber President Audrey Cumberford (Chief exec & Principal of West College Scotland) gave a warm welcome to the audience and highlighted the chambers successes in the last 12 months. She emphasised the opportunity for Renfrewshire with record investment planned via the Glasgow City Region City Deal and the potential of winning the City of Culture bid.  Council Leader Mark Macmillan gave the main sponsor address and urged companies and individuals alike to hit the “back the bid” button via the 2021 website. Paisley’s own megastar Paolo Nutini had a video message for the audience to encourage their support and the difference culture can make for young people was highlighted by Street Stuff’s Ben Milne & Mark Kerr. Rocco favourite Fred MacAulay hosted and was impressed by the performances of 3 piece girl group Loxi, Singer Lisa Kowalski and an energetic 2021 themed piece by Pace Theatre Co.  The ROCCO raffle raised £8,000 for local charities and good causes with St Vincent’s Hospice and Street Stuff Culture Bus Project the main charities of the year.

 

ROCCO Award for Excellence in Customer Services – Sponsored by Scottish Leather Group

Winner – intu Braehead

 

ROCCO Award for Enterprise in Education – Sponsored by University of the West of Scotland

Winner – DirectDevitt Comedy Management & Productions CIC

 

ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology – Sponsored by Hillington Park

Winner – Rolls-Royce

 

ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing – Sponsored by

Winner- Diageo

 

ROCCO Award for International Trade – Sponsored by Glasgow Airport

Winner – Bridge of Weir Leather

 

ROCCO Award for Invest in Renfrewshire – Sponsored by Invest in Renfrewshire

Winner – I Am Me Scotland

 

ROCCO Award for Most Promising New Business – Sponsored by Business Gateway

Winner – PowerTek

 

ROCCO Award for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business – Sponsored by Paisley Daily Express

Winner – Origins Fitness

 

ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year – Sponsored by The Malcolm Group

Winner – Stafffinders

 

ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year – Sponsored by West College Scotland

Winner – Fraser Gordon, The Detailing Factory

 

ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year – Sponsored by Rolls-Royce

Winner – Boston Networks

 

ROCCO Award for Community Champion – Sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & RBS

Winner – Active Communities

 

ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business <5 FTE – Sponsored by intu Braehead

Winner – Kenneth Keegan Independent Funeral Directors

 

ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business 5<25 FTE – Sponsored by Renfrewshire Council

Winner – Braehead Clan
 

ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 FTE – Sponsored by Clyde Marine Training

Winner – Glasgow Airport

 

ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year – Sponsored by DIAGEO

Winner – Andrew Malcolm, MD The Malcolm Group

 

Commenting on the awards, Chamber chief executive Bob Grant said “a huge thank you to all our sponsors, those who donated prizes for our raffle and a hearty congratulations to all the finalists and winners.  Our 13th ROCCO was lucky for 16 winners and a great success.  You can view all images on the chamber Facebook page and comments on #2016Rocco.  I encourage all Rocco winners to utilise their win across their PR channels. Thank you to the entire Chamber team for all their work before and on the night to ensure our 500 guests had a great time.  Special thanks to principle sponsor Paisley 2021, Diageo who supplied our drinks reception, Cameron Presentations & Gap TV for all the AV, The Printbrokers for the program, Gary from NS Design for the excellent social media coverage and Normandy Hotel for a tasty meal. Finally thanks to Loxi, Lisa Kowalski and Pace Theatre Co. for entertaining us so well. Planning for Rocco 2017 is already underway and we hope to see you enter and attend next year

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Spree show with Carol will celebrate Paisley

One of Paisley’s favourite musical daughters is returning to the town to play this year’s Spree festival…and she’s bringing some friends with her.

Carol Laula pours a pint for Saporito owners Gary McCaw and Craig Bickett in the new Saporito High Street restaurant

Carol Laula pours a pint for Saporito owners Gary McCaw and Craig Bickett in the new Saporito High Street restaurant

Carol Laula will open The Spree festival on Friday 14 October with a very special ‘celebration of Paisley’ in a Spiegeltent in the town’s County Square.

The festival, now in its fifth year, will run from 14-22 October with music, comedy, drama, film and kids activities programmed throughout its nine-day run.

Appearing with Carol in her show will be ex-River City star Tom Urie; David Scott (formerly of The Pearlfishers and BMX Bandits); Mark and Claire Rafferty, relatives of the legendary Gerry Rafferty; and Carol’s core backing band, which boasts a wealth of Scottish talent.

Special guest appearances on the night from PACE Youth Theatre Company and St Mirren Football Club promise to make the show a unique celebration of Paisley.

Carol said: “I am beyond delighted and excited to have been commissioned to put on a show for the opening night of the Spree festival.

“The remit is to celebrate all things Paisley. Easy-peasy… but where do I start?

“There will be a mix of Paisley’s rich culture of drama, music, acting and even a wee bit of literature in there too.”

Tickets for the show are available to buy online from  www.thespree.co.uk; from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210; or in person from Paisley Arts Centre or the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street.

Other acts appearing at the festival include Admiral Fallow, Donnie Munro, Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore, Roddy Woomble, Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill.

The Spree is supported by Saporito and Birra Moretti.

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Paisley team make Buddies in London as support for UK City of Culture bid grows

A delegation representing Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 met with an audience of parliamentarians, business leaders, media and key cultural figures in the House of Commons today (Tuesday  6 September).

PACE Youth Theatre group who performed at the Paisley 2021 Parliamentary Reception

PACE Youth Theatre group who performed at the Paisley 2021 Parliamentary Reception

Members of the Paisley 2021 bid team, accompanied by a group from PACE Youth Theatre, joined Renfrewshire MPs, Mhairi Black and Gavin Newlands, in hosting a celebration of Paisley – Scotland’s largest town, at Westminster.

A large audience were treated to a performance from PACE and listened to speakers detail the strength of Paisley’s bid and the town’s drive for UK City of Culture 2021.

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The group, led by Renfrewshire Council Leader and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Mark Macmillan, and Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, are the first delegation representing any of the locations bidding for the UK City of Culture accolade – run by the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, to hold such an event at the House of Commons.

Town leaders believe that the bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will help to transform Paisley future by using its unique cultural heritage as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry, to attract tourism investment as well as promote further job growth and economic stability across all of Renfrewshire.

The bid will harness the power of culture to tackle deep-rooted poverty in communities identified as the most deprived in Scotland, and will place the artistic community at the heart of the town’s cultural, social and economic transformation. There is already widespread grass roots support for the bid.

The bid is just one part of Renfrewshire Council’s plans for the wider regeneration of Paisley and Renfrewshire, including the £56.7m refurbishment of Paisley Museum and a number of projects being delivered as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal – worth £274m to Renfrewshire.

Jean Cameron, Bid Director for Paisley 2021, said: “The opportunity to bid for the UK City of Culture title in 2021 has ignited a new conversation about Paisley and we are seeing a real surge in support for our bid, highlighted by the level of interest shown in our story in London.

“Culture means different things to different people but the role it has to play in our lives is profound and important to everyone – helping us to reach our fullest potential while finding joy in the experience. Paisley has a proud heritage and a vibrant cultural scene, which will be boosted further by the international spotlight which would accompany being UK City of Culture in 2021.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “Paisley and its surrounding areas, like many towns and cities, has challenges to face but we are confident that we can tackle those head on. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has tended to award UK City of Culture status to a place which has a clear plan to use the title to transform its fortunes – there is a proven link between culture and well-being and we want to use the power of that to make people’s lives better.

“Paisley has much to offer and there are few places of similar size with the same depth of tradition, heritage, talent and passion for improvement.

“We are committed to building a better future for all of Renfrewshire and there is a great sense of positivity across the region that we can achieve that goal. The presentation delivered in London underlines the pedigree of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the feedback we received gives us confidence going into the next stage of the bid process.”

Renfrewshire MPs Mhairi Black and Gavin Newlands were joint hosts of the event which took place in the Strangers’ Dining Room in the House of Commons.

Mhairi Black MP, said: “I’m immensely proud to represent Paisley and Renfrewshire South in Parliament and never more so than today as the Paisley 2021 team and PACE did a fantastic job of showcasing what my home town has to offer. We have shown that Paisley’s bid is a serious and more than worthy contender to win the right to become UK City of Culture 2021.”

Gavin Newlands MP, added: “Being born in Paisley, it’s easy for me to feel a strong connection to the town. Today’s event has shown people here in London the extent of Paisley’s ambitions and strength to be able to deliver those aims, and change the future for some of the country’s most deprived children. Paisley is the home of the world renowned Paisley Pattern and it deserves to be as equally well known for nurturing the talent and passion of all its young people, some of whom did their town proud today.”

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Spring 2017, with the winner announced in Autumn 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Paisley bid sets the early PACE in race for UK City of Culture 2021

A group of eight young people from Paisley’s PACE Youth Theatre are on their way to London to wow Westminster as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

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PACE Youth Theatre group who will be travelling to London to support Paisley 2021. Included are David Wallace, founder of PACE, and Mhairi Gilbert, director of the performance which the group will deliver in Westminster

The group set off on their way today (Tuesday 6th September), making the first leg of their journey in the official Paisley 2021 taxi.

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The young performers will accompany Renfrewshire Council Leader and Chair of the 2021 Partnership Board, Mark Macmillan, and Bid Director, Jean Cameron, to a special reception at the House of Commons, attended by parliamentarians, business leaders and key cultural figures.

Hosted by Renfrewshire MPs Mhairi Black and Gavin Newlands, the event will promote Paisley’s Untold Story and showcase the strength of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The group from PACE, the youth theatre which started the careers of Paolo Nutini, James McAvoy, and new star of Hollyoaks Amy Conachan, among many others, will put on a specially commissioned performance that will tell Paisley’s story and share what makes the town – Scotland’s largest, so special.

Paisley’s bid and journey to 2021 will harness the power of culture to tackle deep-rooted poverty in communities identified as the most deprived in Scotland, and will place the artistic community at the heart of the town’s cultural, social and economic transformation.

The bid will celebrate the town’s internationally significant cultural and textile heritage, home to the world famous Paisley Pattern and one of the UK’s original creative industries – thread making and weaving, and will be used to attract tourism investment as well as promote further job growth and economic stability across all of Renfrewshire.

The Paisley delegation is the first representing any of the locations bidding for the UK City of Culture title to hold such an event at the House of Commons.

Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “Being home to PACE Youth Theatre, one of the largest youth theatres in the UK, is just one of the many jewels in Renfrewshire’s cultural crown. Our bid is all about changing perceptions of Paisley at home and abroad and changing local aspirations and ambition. The passion and talent displayed by our young people performing here today epitomises the Paisley spirit and is a driving force behind our bid”

“I’m sure everybody involved will do the town proud and will help to convince our guests that Paisley deserves to become UK City of Culture 2021.”

Abby, aged 17, is one of the members of PACE Youth Theatre who is making the trip to London. She said: “We are really excited to be representing Paisley 2021 at such an important event. Paisley is my town and being able to play a part in helping to spread the word about how much culture there is here in Paisley and Renfrewshire is great.”

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Spring 2017, with the winner announced in Autumn 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Bumper crowds across the region enjoy Paisley 2021 Weekend

Thousands of people turned out for 16 cultural events across Renfrewshire, held as part of the Paisley 2021 Weekend.

Paisley’s Diversity Carnival in Barshaw Park

Paisley’s Diversity Carnival in Barshaw Park

Held on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August, the Paisley 2021 Weekend brought together diverse cultural events taking place all over Renfrewshire in support of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

The cultural extravaganza showcased the broad depth and range of cultural activity which flourishes across the region throughout the year. Locals and visitors were spoiled for choice over both days, with live music, open-mic sessions, dance performances, gala days, an Afro-Caribbean carnival and the increasingly famous Pride of Paisley lions just some of the offering which took place.

Highlights included the culmination of Paisley Music Week, with an impromptu performance by Paolo Nutini surprising unsuspecting gig goers at The Cave. The star treated the crowd to a rendition of his hit, Pencil Full of Lead, to show support for Paisley Music Week and the Paisley 2021 Weekend.

The weekend saw dozens of other Paisley Music Week performances across the town, including an appearance by local song writer, Lisa Kowalski, during half-time of St Mirren FC’s match at the Paisley 2021 Stadium. The diversity of Paisley’s cultural and music scene was underlined when a choir of Syrian children took part in Saturday’s Loud ‘n’ Proud Busking Day

Local boy Tom Potter, UK Young Drummer of the Year, had County Square shaking and rocking when he took centre stage at the Drum Jam on Saturday.

Members of dates ‘n’ Mates participating in the Drum Jam in County Square

Members of dates ‘n’ Mates participating in the Drum Jam in County Square

Those looking for a more relaxing, yet no less creative, cultural experience took part in the PACE Massive Weekend, which delivered two-full days of workshops, catering for all ages. The taster sessions proved popular, with PACE receiving more than 30 enquiries from local people looking to join the group.

Children taking part in one of the many PACE sessions

Children taking part in one of the many PACE sessions

The always popular gala days in Johnstone, Erskine and Brookfield Village saw big turn-outs from local communities looking to enjoy a day of family fun.

The Dates ‘n’ Mates touring bus was also a hit with a number of new people contacting the team to find out about the range of friendship services, creative workshops and volunteering opportunities which the initiative offers.

Scottish and Afro-Caribbean culture was celebrated in Barshaw Park during Paisley’s Diversity Carnival, with the drums, dancing and masquerade going down a storm despite the typically Scottish weather.

A record number of people, more than 2,800, pulled on their trainers to take part in the Paisley 2021 Weekend when they completed the Paisley 10k and Fun Run on Sunday.

Jean Cameron, Bid Director for Paisley 2021, said: “We’d like to thank all the event organisers and people who took part across Renfrewshire to make the Paisley 2021 Weekend a big success.

“The number diversity and popularity of the events which took place in Paisley and all over the region exemplify just how strong our cultural offering is. Engaging local communities and encouraging them to become involved in and enjoy cultural activities is a key aim of our Paisley 2021 bid.

“The Paisley 2021 Weekend is just a snapshot of the cultural activity that occurs in Paisley and Renfrewshire throughout the year but it did a brilliant job of showcasing what we have to offer. Culture means different things to different people but across all the events, there was one clear commonality; the smiling faces, enjoyment and excitement which people were experiencing.”

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021aims to transform the town and Renfrewshire’s future by using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Spring 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Massive Paisley public art project expected to be roaring success

A pride of colourful lions will be the ‘mane’ attraction in Paisley from this weekend as the town’s first-ever public arts trail gets ready to roar into life.

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PACE Theatre Group members Orla Morrow, Erin Lafferty and Rebecca Russell with some of the lions.

The 25 creatively-designed lion sculptures which make up the Pride of Paisley will showcase the town’s heritage and history by merging colour, art and creativity to draw visitors, shoppers and tourists.

Streets around the town will become a kaleidoscope of colour thanks to business regeneration group Paisley First’s bold and unique project, taking place as part of the push towards the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

07/07/16.... PAISLEY. colourful painted life-size lion sculptures created as part of the biggest public art project in PaisleyÕs history. The Pride of Paisley Wild in Art Project is taking place as part of the townÕs bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and has seen 25 lions - inspired by popular Paisley Museum exhibit Buddy the Lion Ð created and individually painted by local artists and schools Erin Lafferty,

colourful painted life-size lion sculptures created as part of the biggest public art project in PaisleyÕs history. The Pride of Paisley Wild in Art Project is taking place as part of the townÕs bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and has seen 25 lions – inspired by popular Paisley Museum exhibit Buddy the Lion Ð created and individually painted by local artists and schools.

Paisley already boasts some incredible architecture, including Paisley Abbey and the Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, as well as a respected live music scene, a burgeoning cafe culture and a history steeped in the rich tapestry of its thread mills and weaving.

Now the team at Paisley First, led by Andrew Mitchell, manager of Business Improvement District (BID), hope to see people flooding in from far and wide to take a look at the kings of the jungle – and the town itself – until September 25.

Public arts trails like this have been a roaring success, with Wild At Art events elsewhere in the UK bringing a boost in shopping centre footfall by around 25 per cent, a sales hike of almost 20 per cent and a 39 per cent increase in the number of visitors.

Andrew said: “Fantastic projects similar to ours have brought many benefits to places like Aberdeen, Hamilton and Norwich in the past.

“We know our incredible lions will be popular with people, bring them to Paisley and keep them coming back for more.

“These are exciting times for Paisley with the bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 and we are confident people will come to the town to see our lions and have their eyes opened to all of the wonderful things the town centre and surrounding area has to offer.”

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “The Pride of Paisley is already capturing hundreds of people’s imaginations, from the schoolchildren, businesses and artists already involved in the project.

“It’s a great chance for everybody to get round the town, discover their favourite lion, and really see the town as they’ve never seen it before.”

Community is at the heart of the lions project and the heritage trail will raise money for Accord Hospice in Paisley and St Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood.
At the end of the event, the Pride of Paisley lions will be auctioned and all profits will go to these facilities.

The trail is an exciting thing for all the family to experience and over the 12 weeks, people young and old can enjoy these kings of the jungle in all their glory as they take up home in the streets and open spaces of Paisley.

Forty eye-catching mini lion sculptures designed by school pupils across Renfrewshire will add to the trail’s sense of fun and community.

You will be able to see these taking pride of place in local businesses throughout summer, before they return to the schools after the summer break.

PACE Theatre Company, a registered charity working closely with young people, schools and national organisations, was set up in Paisley back in 1988.

Executive director David Wallace, who started PACE, is heavily involved in the Pride of Paisley as the Project Leader.

David said: “At PACE, we take great pride in helping to develop young people’s creative potential and this public art trail will help do just that – and more – for Paisley.

“I would encourage people living here to become tourists in their own town by getting out there to follow the trail. And I’d say to anyone who has never visited before to come along and discover everything the town has to offer.”

The big launch kicks off in County Square at 11am with a performance by PACE Theatre Company, followed by Lion Fish Stilt Walkers at 11.20am and Black Eagles Acrobats at noon.

From 12.30pm the RockUs Choir will perform for half an hour before the stilt walkers and acrobats bring things to a close around 3pm. There will also be face painting from 11am until 2pm and miniature lion painting from 11am to 2pm at The Piazza.

The art trail’s headlining sponsors are: West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Leisure, The Piazza, Paisley First, Paisley 2021 and PACE Theatre Company.

Find out more about our sponsors by visiting  www.prideofpaisley.co.uk

More information on Paisley’s bid for UK CIty of Culture 2021 is at  www.paisley2021.co.uk

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£5m building revamp declared ‘spectacular’ after tour

Renfrewshire’s council leader was given a behind-the-scenes look at work on Paisley’s iconic Russell Institute building…and declared it will be ‘spectacular’ when it reopens next year as a skills and employability hub.

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The striking A-listed former health centre on the corner of Causeyside Street and New Street is halfway through a year-long £5m council-led project to restore it to its former glory.

When it reopens next year it is expected to bring around 80 new office jobs into the town centre, with national skills body Skills Development Scotland moving in as anchor tenants, alongside staff from the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire employability team.

And Councillor Mark Macmillan and SDS director of operations Danny Logue donned their hard hats for a tour of the facility to see the latest progress.

Since construction kicked off at the end of last year, main contractors CBC Ltd have been cleaning the external stonework and repointing some of the distinctive and intricate statues on the outside of the building.

Internally, the recognisable entrance hallway, staircase and balcony remain in place but work has been ongoing to turn the small rooms and cubicles of the former clinic into bright and open office space.

Councillor Macmillan said: “It was great to get a look inside the building and to see how the work is progressing – the revamped building will be spectacular.

“Along with Arnotts, the planned museum revamp, and with work starting soon on the museum store on the High Street, this is just one of several current major regeneration projects making the most of Paisley’s unique architecture and history.

“That unique heritage will be key to the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and – as people will have noticed – the scaffolding around the Russell Institute has been used as an opportunity to help showcase the bid.

“From speaking to people around the town you realise how many residents have their own stories and memories of visiting here while growing up, so from that point of view it is great we are keeping the building alive for future generations too.

“The work taking place here is preserving the original 1920s features while creating bright and open 21st-century office space which people will enjoy working in.”

Danny Logue of SDS added: “It was fantastic to see the work that has been done already to breathe new life into this building.

“We are really looking forward to moving in and continuing to help the people of Renfrewshire to achieve careers success, as well as supporting businesses to grow and develop the skills of their workforce.”

The work is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

The Paisley Development Trust kicked the project off by commissioning an initial feasibility study into its use.

The Russell Institute was opened in 1927 and was gifted to Paisley Burgh by Miss Agnes Russell, who wanted it to be used as a child welfare clinic as a memorial to her two brothers.

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Local Filmmakers’ quest to complete Paisley feature film

Renfrewshire based film director Paul Mothersole and Renfrewshire Leisure’s New Media Worker Richard Weeks have joined creative forces to complete a film that was first started in the 1960s.

My Paisley Actress
The unfinished film, titled ‘My Paisley’, was originally the work of local filmmaker Falconer Houston. It traced the history of Paisley from the town’s patron Saint Mirren right up to the manufacture of the Hillman Imp at the Rootes factory in Ferguslie.

The original film also featured a young actress that both Paul and Richard are keen to trace before filming of the project begins again.

Richard states:

“We have received funding from Paisley Town Centre THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) and CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) – a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council – and will work in collaboration with the Social Studies department at Castlehead High School and PACE Youth Theatre to bring the ‘My Paisley’ film back to life.

We would love to attempt to trace the actress involved in the original film to learn more about her experience. All we know of the young woman was that she attended Mossvale Junior Secondary school in the 1960s. We also have an image of her taken from the original film.’

If you recognise the young actress and can help put the My Paisley project in touch please contact Richard Weeks on 0141 618 5105.

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Paisley 2021 culture fund grants chosen after £1m of applications

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The first groups in the frame to benefit from a £500k culture fund have been named – after applications totaling an incredible £1m worth of funding were lodged.

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The first groups in the frame to benefit from a £500k culture fund have been named – after applications totaling an incredible £1m worth of funding were lodged.

The Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund is key to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, aimed at unlocking the area’s creative potential by helping the cultural community run its own events and projects in the run-up to the bid.

And bid bosses were deluged with applications for the first round of grants – receiving 72 requests for funding, totaling £994,829.

Renfrewshire Council last year set aside £500,000 for the fund – but that is intended to last five years, with three funding rounds each year.

That left the panel with a tough task to sort through the applications – before eventually agreeing to recommend 12 awards totaling £62,634.

The council’s Leadership Board will be asked to approve those awards when it meets later this month.

The nominated groups and individuals range from grassroots to professional, and cover a wide range of sectors – including music, dance, theatre, art and Gaelic culture. Those set to benefit include school pupils and disabled people.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We were overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the applications received – it was just incredible.

“The applications were a wonderful showcase of the scale, quality and ambition of the cultural scene in and around Renfrewshire. There were some inspirational ideas and a real enthusiasm for the bid.

“On the other hand it gave us a problem – even though the council has made a massive financial commitment, demand far exceeds the money available and we will never be able to fund every good idea.

“Ultimately we had to select projects which best met the criteria at this stage in the process and which we thought would make the biggest positive impact on the bid.

“So while some people will be disappointed not to be funded, we may be able to help in future.

“We noticed a lot of similar themes in the applications and will host an event before the next round of funding in August to discuss how we can help people form new creative partnerships which may lead to more projects coming to life in future.”

The assessment panel also identified a longlist of additional projects which scored highly and which could strengthen Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid, but where more information would be needed before a final decision could be made.

The council’s Leadership Board will also next week be asked to delegate the authority for an additional £65,000 worth of awards to be made from that longlist, to be announced in April.

The twelve applications which have been recommended for approval so far are as follows:
– Right2Dance (£13,946) – to run a new free weekly dance class;
– Al Seed (£9,990) – to produce a solo work of visual theatre which ties in with Paisley Halloween Festival;
– Feis Phaislig (£8,837) – for a year-round programme of music tuition for young people;
– Renfrewshire Disability Art Forum (£6,000) – a number of projects using creativity to improve health and wellbeing;
– PACE Theatre Company (two awards of £4,750 and £3,060) – for Paisley 2021 drama workshops in schools, and free street theatre workshops for young people;
– West College Scotland (£4,052) – to create and commercialise Paisley artwork
– Morgan Spence (£3,200) – to create animation workshops for schools and an animated Paisley Lego film;
– Bushes Primary (£3,000) – to create permanent communuty artwork;
– Hobigoblin (£2,689) – to create a space for learning new crafts and skills in Paisley;
– Dates-n-Mates (£2,160) – to take members of group for learning-disabled adults on a drama course and produce a pantomime
– Lisa Kowalski Music (£950) – to work with other musicians to produce an EP

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged in spring 2017. For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk