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Celebrate Paisley’s buildings by contributing to the town’s Story Map

Photography fans are being encouraged to share their favourite snaps of Paisley’s unique architecture for a Story Map that tells the story of the town through its rich built heritage.

The Story Map will capture a visual record of historic properties within Paisley Town Centre Conservation Area. Pupils and community groups are being asked to share their photos, memories and comments on buildings in the town they either have links with or simply admire and have a chance to have them added to the Story Map. The map will also share knowledge about local heritage.

The Story Map will go on to be used as a public online resource where people can view and continue to contribute to the story capturing the town’s built environment as time goes on.

Local primary school pupils and community groups will attend the Story Map launch on Friday 16 March in the UWS atrium, and bring along a digital copy of their image and a comment to accompany it in order to contribute to the map.

The event will also launch a new photography competition which will first be trialled with the groups who attend on the day.

Two winners will be announced (under 16 year-olds and over 16 year-olds) at the event and the winning photographs will be printed on banners displayed around Paisley Town Centre promoting the TH.CARS2 project. Following the event the competition will then be opened up to the general public to enter. All details about the competition can be found on the TH.CARS2 website.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley is home to some beautiful buildings and boasts the second highest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland and it’s great to celebrate this.

“People living in and around Paisley are uniquely able to see our most iconic buildings in a new way as well as highlight some of our hidden gems. By contributing to the Story Map people can share their own stories of why these stunning buildings matter to the town.”

This forms a key part of the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and will deliver grant opportunities to property owners in a defined area of the town centre for high quality building repairs and shopfront improvements.

To find out more about the TH.CARS2 project please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2 or to find out more about the Story Map please visit:www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THcars2StoryMap.

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Photographs of Paisley in the Snow

Fantastic Pictures showing the scale of the disruption and the beauty of the snow around Paisley taken by Ian McDonald Photography and kindly allowed for use on Paisley.org.uk

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Renfrewshire Council Weather update – schools and council buildings closed tomorrow

paisley snow


The Met Office have now issued a red weather warning for Renfrewshire and parts of Scotland due to extreme weather conditions expected later today – running from 3pm today until 10am tomorrow.

paisley snow

The advice is not to travel under any circumstances during those hours. Ensure you remain safe and follow the advice of the emergency services at all times. Council services are affected as follows:

All schools and nurseries will remain closed today and Thursday. We will update you tomorrow on whether they will reopen on Friday.

All bin collections today and tomorrow are cancelled and will not be collected until the next scheduled collection day for that colour of bin.  At that time we will also collect any excess waste left at the side of the bins.

All essential council services – such as care at home and some social work services – will be operating to the best of our ability but council offices will be closing later this afternoon.

We hope to be able to reopen council buildings at some point tomorrow but as the red weather warning is in place until 10am tomorrow and the advice is not to travel, this will only be when it is safe to do so. Council staff should speak to their line manager about their own service arrangements.

We will issue any updates on here and through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

As it stands the conditions are making things very challenging but our gritters and snow ploughs have been out overnight and will stay out all today. We are sure you appreciate we can’t get to every residential street but all main roads are open at present. Our street teams have also been out since 5.30am helping to clear the snow from pavements.

Obviously the situation may change so we advise you keep an eye on the Met Office for weather updates and follow Police Scotland and Traffic Scotland for the latest travel advice. Stay safe out there and we will keep you posted.

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Plans to build on Paisley 2021 legacy to go before councillors

Plans to use the momentum of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid to help drive a long-term cultural, social and economic transformation of the area are to go before councillors next week.

Renfrewshire Council and its partners have been planning how the town’s bid journey will continue, by building on the positive platform the bid created, and the widespread community support that drove Paisley’s campaign.

Paisley was the only Scottish place and first-ever town to make the shortlist for the prestigious competition, run by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Feedback from DCMS says Paisley was viewed as ‘a very strong contender’ and the decision to shortlist the bid was ‘an easy one’, while praising the town’s passion and commitment to using culture to tackle social problems, and describing the Paisley bid’s community engagement as ‘exemplary’.

The Paisley 2021 Partnership Board – set up to oversee the bid and bringing together business, cultural, educational, community, health and political representatives – has already confirmed it will continue and will deliver and drive a legacy plan, with some partners intending to maintain their original financial pledges.

That detailed legacy plan will be finalised by the Partnership Board in March – but a report outlining the key points of the local authority’s contribution towards the plan is now going before the council’s Leadership Board

It will continue the ambition to achieve the bid’s original long-term aims to significantly grow Paisley’s creative economy, transform its reputation, see the town recognised for its cultural excellence, lift communities out of poverty, and turn Paisley town centre into a vibrant destination.

And the council will continue to lead on delivering the following:

– the planned £100m-plus investment in venues and infrastructure, including the project under way to turn Paisley Museum into an international-class visitor destination, major internal revamps to transform Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre, upgrading the sporting facilities at St James Playing Fields and creating new space for outdoor events and festivals, a new library on the High Street, and improvements to the town centre streetscape and road system;

– a new Paisley destination brand and website will also be unveiled in the next few weeks to build on the national and international profile created by the bid and promote the area as an attractive place to visit, live and invest;

– an enhanced cultural events and festivals programme over the next four years to deliver the best of what was planned for 2021, attract visitors to Paisley, and strengthen the local cultural sector;

Plans will also be developed to grow the area’s creative economy through a new apprenticeship programme, support for creative businesses and a new volunteer strategy.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We must do everything to build on the impact of bidding for UK City of Culture and the momentum it created.

“The campaign took the town’s profile to new levels – with hundreds of millions of people around the world getting the chance to see or hear something positive about Paisley – transformed our reputation, raised awareness of our unique story, and brought self-confidence back to the town.

“It also generated a town-wide discussion about Paisley’s future – with more than 36,000 people engaging with the bid by the time the final submission was made, and new partnerships and relationships developed locally and nationally which will continue to work in Paisley’s interest.

“And it also firmly established the idea that Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage assets can be used to transform its future – and not just in an economic sense, but also through social impact, by harnessing the power of culture to boost health and well-being, and help people out of poverty.

“We may not have won the title – but the important point is we are still going to deliver our vision and many of the aspirations that informed our bid.

“The report going to the leadership board offers an initial outline of those next steps, and as chair of the Paisley Partnership Board I look forward to revealing the detailed action plan with our partners.

“With major investment in our cultural venues, a new destination brand and website set to launch, an enhanced events and festivals programme in the years ahead, and new funding to support local artists and help the local cultural sector grow, there is lots ahead to be excited by.”

The council’s leadership board will meet on Wednesday 21 February.

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Monte Carlo Classic Rally

The centre of Paisley will be lively tomorrow night as the town waves off the cars and crews in this year’s start of the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo.

But for 10 year old Primary 6 pupil Emilia Kozlowska, of St John Ogilvie Primary School in Paisley, it’ll be a really special occasion. She won a Renfrewshire-wide competition for a pupil to design the flag to be used to wave off the drivers and her winning flag will be the centrepiece of the start outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm.

It’s the fifth time the town – the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the title UK City of Culture 2021 – will be the only British start point of six European cities.

Around 70 cars are expected to leave the start ramp – the largest number of entries so far with the first 24 of them setting off for the 1500-mile trip to the South of France.

There are three separate categories:

The Historique class is being run for the 21st year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1969 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish in Monte Carlo after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.

Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale events and motoring enthusiasts in a range of interesting cars from over the years will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland, including Aberdeen, Dumfries and Stirling.

Last year a crowd of around 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and pyrotechnics…..and working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland, the organisers are confident of making the start even bigger and better next year.

At a preview of the event and looking over some of the entries, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Monte Carlo Classic Rally back to Paisley for a fifth year – the sight of the cars gathered outside Paisley Abbey always makes a fantastic spectacle, and brings a great turnout.

“This is the first event in Renfrewshire’s 2018 major events programme, which aims to bring footfall into our town centres and showcase our unique attractions to visitors.

“Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 had a hugely positive impact on the town’s profile and reputation and we will build on that with another great year of major events.”

Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011, will be leading the cars off to Monte Carlo in his 1961 Triumph Herald Coupe.

He said: “Paisley’s mid-winter carnival – the Monte Carlo Rally Start – is back for a record fifth time with a record number of cars heading for the sunshine. It’s acknowledged to be the best of all the rally starts around Europe. Be part of the excitement by coming along to cheer them on their way on Wednesday evening. Share the magic of the Monte.”

Among the entrants who’ll be heading for Monte Carlo in the Historique Class and already in Paisley, are the French crew of Gerard Thill and Colette Roubaud. Their superb red 1971 Saab 96 V4 comes from Trollhattan in Sweden and was originally owned by an engineer who worked at the Saab factory. Gerard and Colette will be taking part in their ninth Historique Monte but it’s the first time they’ve started from Scotland. Previously they’ve set off from Reims, Bad Homburg, Monaco, Oslo, Barcelona and Marrakech.

It’s a slightly closer-to-home start for the three-man Angus-based crew of David Tindal, Alan Falconer and Stephen Woods who decided only recently they’d like to do the event. Fortunately David’s 18-year-old son just happened to have a 1956 Ford Prefect which he was working on in his garage. They rushed to complete the job and they’ll be competing in the Classique group under the team name ‘Kilts to Carlo’ to raise funds for Prostate Scotland.

Also taking on the challenge is husband and wife team Jim and Norma Watson from Dunfermline who are MG fans and have owned a number of different models over the years. They bought their current MGB GT just to take part in the

Classique event. Although both now retired, they are not taking it easy. When not rallying they sail and are currently restoring a wooden sailing yacht.

From Troon, Craig McGibbon has entered his Volvo 122S for the second time in the Historique category but this time he has a very experienced navigator in Karsten Brown sitting alongside. Before retirement they were both highly-trained professional drivers and are looking forward to showing the others how it’s done.

David Glen and Andrew Sturgess from Glasgow are a well-established crew who are competing in their 5th Monte. Their car is a rare 1978 Escort RS 2000 with equally rare X pack modifications. David and Andrew managed to finish the rally last year despite having a ‘coming together’ with an Alfa Romeo en route, but it is now back to its original condition and they are raring to go.

All the competing cars will assemble from around 4pm in the precincts of Paisley Abbey on the evening of Wednesday January 31st before setting off at 6pm for the long drive south. Families are encouraged to come along from 3pm – Paisley Town Hall will host a giant Scalextric set, a Sega Rally arcade machine, children’s workshops, face painting and refreshments for those wanting to gear themselves up before the send-off at 6pm.


More information can be found at www.monte.scot

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Spree Festival delivers boost to local economy

This year’s Spree Festival has been hailed a resounding success after delivering a boost of more than £120,000 to the local economy.

Paisley Spree RSNO Takeover 24.10.17

Paisley’s sixth national flagship festival saw more than 10,000 people attend 60 events related to this year’s  event  – with homegrown musical megastar Paolo Nutini topping a list of sold-out shows and entertainment.

His triumphant homecoming concert at Paisley Abbey saw 50,000 people apply for just 550 tickets.

Almost 60 per cent of visitors were from Renfrewshire, while more than 30 per cent were from the rest of Scotland.

A further six per cent came from the rest of the UK and overseas.

The 12-day extravaganza, which supported the town’s bid for the UK City of Culture 2021, generated almost 4,500 attendees, with the events themselves drawing in almost 9,000 admissions.

Ticket sales for shows across the Abbey, Spiegeltent, Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre were 8,337 – an increase of 60% on last year’s figure of 5,200.

Comics Tom Urie and Jamie Godley and musicians Dougie MacLean and James Grant, were among the big names to perform, while the festival also included a unique link up between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Renfrewshire school children.

The Musical Tapestry saw a collaboration between musicians from Scotland and India.

Audiences at the Burger & Keg Live tent and at the Spree for All Festival Club in The Old Swan Inn which ran nightly, are estimated to have topped 1,000.

Around 1,000 more enjoyed the live bands and other street entertainment across the festival.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This year’s Spree Festival was bigger and better than ever and has been a tremendous boost to the town.

“The line up featured  a host of big names, showing it has become an established fixture on Scotland’s events calendar.

“There was also a unique link up between Scotland and Indian with the Musical Tapestry, which celebrated Paisley’s friendship with India through its textile heritage.

“Community groups were able to enjoy the Spree thanks to a tickets initiative while our programme also included a range of free family activities like children’s workshops to give our communities the opportunity to enjoy cultural activity on their doorstep.”

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Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.

Aspiring musicians from a variety of Renfrewshire schools utilised the stunning acoustics of the historic venue to showcase their talents and musicianship to the local community.

The performance began with the violins and cellos of the Renfrewshire Schools String Ensemble’s as they performed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’.

This was followed by a moving performance of Africca and Tron Legacy by the assorted battery of the Schools Percussion Ensemble, which incorporated an array of instruments including timpani, drums, marimba, tubular bells and more.

The Senior Concert band then played a range of Gershwin Classics, as well as music from Shrek, leaving the Abbey reverberating with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

Culture and tradition then enveloped the Abbey as the Feis Phaislig Choir opened the second half with a selection of Gaelic songs.

The Senior Ceilidh Band had the audience tapping along as they concluded the concert with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’, featuring Sorcha Alcorn Stewart on vocals.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We have a wealth of aspiring musicians in Renfrewshire and it’s fantastic to see our pupils bring their talents together to put on such an extraordinary performance.

“It is vital that we encourage our young people to express themselves musically which is why we committed to offering free music tuition to our school pupils, allowing them the opportunity to find their talent from an early age.

“We want our pupils to aim high and achieve their dreams and what better inspiration than performing in the same venue as our home-grown success story Paolo Nutini did so recently.”

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Nomination deadline looms for Provost’s Community Awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is urging people not miss out as the nomination deadline for the Provost’s Community Awards approaches.

The awards, which are into their third decade, aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire and are making a difference to their community.

This year, nominations can be made in six categories, including a new Arts and Culture award which has been created to find the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Provost Cameron said: “We’ve had a fantastic number of entries already but we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to make their nominations.

“I meet so many inspiring groups and people in my role as Provost so I know the talent and dedication is out there, but I need the local community to nominate them.

“If a person, or a group, is making a real difference to your life or is making your local area a better place, then please put them forward and give them the recognition they deserve.”

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment for their staff.

Mark Ferguson, Branch Secretary, said: “We represent 52 employers in the local area and we’re delighted to sponsor the Employer of the Year Award.

“This award recognises employers who value their workforce and contribute to both the local economy and community in Renfrewshire.

“If your employer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, then make sure you nominate them before the deadline.”.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Craig Martin, Head of HR, said: “Glasgow Airport are proud to serve Renfrewshire. We have strong connections with our local community through our staff and customers, therefore we are delighted to sponsor this award and recognise individuals who are making a real difference in their local area.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Nominations can be completed online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Almost 25,000 turn out for Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-on

Almost 25,000 festive revellers turned out for Paisley’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, as the town prepares to hear whether it will be named UK City of Culture 2021 next month.

Headliners were Northern Irish rockers Ash, who marked the start of the festive season with a performance of hit after hit that thrilled the assembled crowds.

The switch-on is the latest event in Paisley’s Winter Events season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Festive fun seekers enjoyed a host of free family entertainment earlier in the day, including the famous Reindeer Parade down High Street.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron pressed the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School, who designed a winning Christmas card.

Provost Cameron said: “It’s great to get out and about and see so many of the community – especially young people enjoying one of the biggest events of the year. Our festive events are always really special and memorable, and this year’s was no exception.”

An energetic performance from Children’s Classic Concert got young music lovers moving before headliners Ash took to the stage for the main event.

The band showcased a string of hits including Shining Light, Girl from Mars and A Life Less Ordinary, before snow cannons blasted confetti across the crowd.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi also added to the seasonal atmosphere by playing Christmas classics from the main stage

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers snapped up the perfect gifts from the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market  while the merry Massaoke band played Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “With a decision on the UK City of Culture title expected within weeks it’s great to see so many people flocking to our unique town centre to enjoy one of the biggest and most popular occasions on our Winter Events calendar.

“It’s also a reminder of how the town is able to host major events such as this latest one.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host the four week WinterFest Christmas spectacular from next week, with plans for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by local business improvement district Paisley First, the plans also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 16 December.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Thousands expected for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch On

Northern Irish rockers Ash will mark the start of Paisley’s festive season with a headline performance at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Thousands are expected to head to the town centre on Saturday, November 18th to enjoy a host of free family fun, including the famous Reindeer Parade.

The switch on is the latest event in Paisley’s winter season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will press the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School.

Santa and his helpers will lead the procession down High Street at 1.30pm, before he opens his grotto at the Paisley Centre.

A performance from Children’s Classic Concert will provide a seasonal soundtrack from 2.30pm, with audience participation a must.

Twice-voted best music act at the Edinburgh Fringe, percussion superstars Owen and OIly, shake up your idea of classical music with a high-energy family concert.

Music headliners Ash will take to the Live Stage at 5.15pm for a performance before the town’s festive countdown officially starts with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm.

With 18 Top 40 singles including ‘The Girl from Mars’ and ‘Shining Light’ under their belt, the band, who first found fame as teenagers in the nineties, still know how to start a party.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi will be adding to the festive fun by spinning Christmas classics from the main stage.

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers can explore the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market from 1pm, with over 30 stalls to search out the perfect gifts. Face painting and storytelling are among the family fun also on offer. An interactive snow globe in will be in Abbey Close for festive photo opportunities.

Revellers will find it hard to resist embracing the festive atmosphere and singing along with the merry Massaoke band as they play Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On is bigger and better than ever and will bring thousands of people into the town centre which is great for business.

“As we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 it’s great to show that we can host events on this scale. A winning bid would mean Paisley town centre would be hosting big events similar to this one every weekend.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host a four week Christmas spectacular in the town from November 24th, with plans, subject to approvals, for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by Paisley First, Winter Fest also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

For more information and timings on the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch on go to:http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/paisley-christmas-lights/#whats-on-4826

The event means there will be a series of road closures around the town centre from 12.01am on Saturday morning, including parts of Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Abbey Close will close from 8am on Saturday morning until after the event.