Paisley and renfrewshire Events

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Paisley to honour Baker Street singer with mass sax solo

Paisley will honour one of its most famous sons with a mass outdoor rendition of the iconic saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street this weekend.

The musical moment has been organised by local promoter Tommy McGrory of Loud ‘n’ Proud as a tribute to the late singer in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

It also helps mark the send-off of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – due to be lodged with the UK Government next week – with the event part-funded by the 2021 bid team.

The sax solo will take place at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Saturday and will see professional musicians – including a live band – joined by local talent.

And Gerry’s daughter Martha said: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

“To have so many people playing the Baker Street solo together in the town centre is a unique idea and I am sure it will make a great spectacle. Let’s hope they’re all in tune! I am looking forward to hearing it.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “This event is a tribute to one of Paisley’s best musical exports and a song known the world over.

“As well as marking what would have been Gerry’s birthday it’s also a great way to shine a spotlight on the town as we prepare to submit the bid, which will feature Paisley’s incredible musical legacy.”

Tommy McGrory added: “We’ve had phenomenal interest in this ever since we revealed the plans a few days ago – it is shaping up to be a must-see moment.

“We have in excess of 30 people lined up to take part but if any other saxophone players are interested in joining us, they can contact me through Loud ‘n’ Proud on 0141 840 1090.”

The coming weekend will be a busy one for Paisley, with Saturday seeing the town host the third annual Paisley Food Festival in Abbey Close, with street-food traders from across the country, free live entertainment and cookery demos.

This weekend will also see Renfrewshire CAMRA’s 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival in Paisley Town Hall, while local business improvement district Paisley First are running Paisley Restaurant Week, with discount deals available at local eateries.

For more information on these events and the bid itself, visit paisley2021.co.uk

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Pipe bands from across the world set to battle it out to be named Britain’s best

Paisley is set to welcome competitors from as far as Canada and Denmark as the top pipe bands in the world aim to be crowned British champions.

photos courtesy of Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
07792445 437
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2016.

On Saturday 20 May, over 4,000 pipers and drummers will descend on the St James Playing Fields for the second year in succession following a fantastic competition last year which saw Inverary and District take home the Grade 1 prize.

They’ll face stiff competition from all over the world this year however as bands from Canada, Ireland and Northern Ireland join Scotland’s finest in trying to take home the accolade of Britain’s best.

From 10am, 145 bands will take to the competition arena and look to impress the judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) in 11 different categories.

After the final band performs- at around 5:30pm- the prize giving will take place before all bands join the final march-past which will close the competition.

The free-to-attend event will also feature a delicious food village, a children’s entertainment zone, the Slug in a Bottle craft market and much more.

RSPBA Chief Executive, Ian Embelton, said: “After the success of last year’s Championships we are all looking forward to an even more exciting event this year.

“Bands have entered in great numbers and everything is in place for a great day out for all the family’

The Championships form part of a series of events taking place across Renfrewshire which are helping to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said: “It is fantastic to see the Championships return to Paisley after such a successful event last year.

“I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to see some of the world’s foremost pipers competing in one of the biggest dates in world piping and enjoy the marvellous entertainment being provided on the day.

“The sight of thousands of pipers and supporters descending on the town is not only a boost for local traders, but also enhances our bid to be named UK City of Culture as we again showcase our ability to hold large-scale events in the area.

“The winning bidder would host a number of prestigious events in 2021 and we’re determined to give Paisley the best chance of a successful bid as we look to bring lasting social and economic change to the area.”

Designated event parking will be at West College Scotland, Paisley Grammar School and Castlehead High School.

Visitors should be aware there will be no on-site parking at the St James Playing Fields for the public – this will be for pipe band coaches and event officials only.

Free shuttle buses will run directly to the event site throughout the day from West College Scotland and Paisley Gilmour Street station. Full details are at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

The full running order for the day, showing all bands, grades and timings, is now available at www.rspba.org

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Paisley 2021 bid gets green light from councillors

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been given the green light by councillors ahead of it being lodged with the UK Government next week.

 

Elected members were today given a preview of the contents of the bid report and gave unanimous cross-party approval for the council – as the lead agency in the Paisley 2021 partnership – to submit it on behalf of the town.

The 30-page document answers a series of questions set by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the economic and social impact the title will have on the town, Paisley’s outline 2021 programme, and its ability to host the title.

Paisley is bidding for the prestigious title as part of wider plans to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

The bid deadline is Friday 28 April and the timetable published by DCMS says the 11 bidders can expect to find out in June if they have made the shortlist.

Those places will be expected to lodge a more detailed second-stage bid, with the winner expected to be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The 18 months since the bid was launched have already been incredibly positive for the town and it has been a pleasure to be a part of.

“It has been a real grassroots movement, with more than 30,000 people taking part in the conversation around the bid and helping us shape the contents, and I want to thank everybody who contributed – your voices are in this bid.

“The bid has raised awareness of everything Paisley has to offer, changing negative perceptions of the town and creating a new sense of self-confidence.

“The bid is just one part of a wider set of plans aimed at using events, culture and heritage to bring new footfall and tourism to the town, and build a new type of town centre economy based around creative industry.

“But the impact of winning the title would be on another level – a year of major international events and huge numbers of visitors in 2021, thousands of new jobs, major investment in infrastructure and a lasting economic and social legacy.

“The work to prepare the bid has been a real partnership effort, with great contributions from a wide range of different groups all working to a common goal.

“Approval from councillors was the last milestone on this stage of the journey before the bid is submitted next week – and we know we have one which will show the judges how much Paisley wants and needs the title and is ready to deliver it.”

For more information, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Top food and drink producers to attend Paisley Food Festival

The crème de la crème of Scotland’s food and drink producers will attend Paisley’s food fiesta this weekend.

Paisley Food Festival
Darrel Douglas from the Rum Shack

Visitors will be able to sample tasty treats from more than 30 street food traders and producers at the free Paisley Food Festival this Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12 to 7pm.

Paisley Food Festival

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 which will be submitted at the end of the month.

The event is running alongside Scotland’s largest beer and ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, which is run by Renfrewshire CAMRA, launched earlier this week and will be at Paisley Town Hall until Saturday 22 April.

Paisley Food Festival

The event has a wide selection of producers serving hand reared produce, including The Kitchen Farmer from Perthshire with their gourmet lamb burgers, and outdoor reared pork and apple burgers from Duntarrin Farm in Argyll. In addition Alba Seafood will be showcasing their delicious fresh smoked seafood and fishcakes while Geraldo’s of Largs will be offering the best in Scottish craft spirits to enjoy at home. For those with a sweet tooth there are exquisite French patisseries from les Plaisirs d’Odette and scrumptious cakes from the Three Sisters Bake.

Serena Durante, from Porrelli, said: This is the first time Porrelli has taken part in the festival and we’re really excited to serve our delicious Churros, it is something new that complements our ice cream well, and we know the visitors will love it! It’s a great event.”

Matthew Stevenson from Linburn’s Farm, said: “Some of the best food in Scotland is made right here in Renfrewshire and the festival gives us a chance to celebrate that. It also gives people the opportunity to try new foods from producers and traders from further afield.

“We are looking forward to serving up our famous Paisley Buddie burger which we’re sure will be popular on the day.”

David Cassidy, of Renfrewshire CAMRA, added: “We are all looking forward to this year’s beer festival, and the organisers are buzzing.

“The selection of beers will be bigger than ever – we have more than 200 real ales and another 100 or so beers at the foreign beer bar.

“We are also delighted to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of St Mirren’s 1987 cup win as part of our own 30th anniversary – many of the organisers are St Mirren fans so it’s great to be able to do that.”

Also confirmed to attend the event are Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, who will host a series of cooking demonstrations, and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs. The Voice finalists Into the Ark are also confirmed as the headline music act for the event performing their first gig since appearing on the show.

Also taking place this week is Paisley Restaurant Week which is being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First and will be running until 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre including Cardosi’s, Hamishes Hoose and Saporito Restaurants.

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Mental Health Awareness Week

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, the Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance (RASA) group are organising a  ‘Walk a Mile’ event on the10 May 2017.


The aim is to raise awareness of Mental Health and to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. The walk is being supported by the national charity See Me and is inspired by Chris Young’s UK wide campaign to end mental health stigma and change the way people think about mental health.

To Register
https://letswalkamile.org/events/walk-a-mile-renfrewshire

Date of Event:
Wednesday 10 May 2017
Assembly Time:
12.00 noon. Walk commences at 12.30pm
Location of event:
Fountain Gardens, Love Street, Paisley, PA3 2DZ (at the fountain)

For further information please contact
bernadette.reilly@renfrewshire.gcsx.gov.uk

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Voluntary Arts Festival 2017 – Creative Opportunity

Voluntary Arts Festival takes place each May, in cities, towns and villages across the UK and Republic of Ireland.  It’s a chance for people to get creative – share what they already do, or try something new for the first time.

A full list of events can be found here

 

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Register now for Business Matters in Renfrewshire 2017

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Masterplan to transform the West End of Paisley

Plans to deliver ‘transformational change’ in the West End of Paisley through major investment in new homes will be considered by councillors next week.

The draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan will be presented at the Council meeting on Thursday 20 April, 2017.

It aims to integrate the West End further in the regeneration of Paisley Town Centre and improve it as a place to live and operate a business.

The masterplan sets out proposals for around 150 new homes to provide a mix of private and social housing. New commercial units are also being considered in the proposals, subject to demand.

The area under consideration covers Well Street, Underwood Lane, Clavering Street East, Sutherland Street, Oakshaw Brae and West Brae.

It currently contains low demand tenement flats and commercial premises around Well Street as well as the former University of the West of Scotland halls of residence and surplus undeveloped land.

Proposals would see demolition of the existing tenement flats on the east side of Well Street and commercial ground floor properties in the tenement blocks as well as vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East.

Residents affected by demolition would be assisted by the Council to find alternative accommodation to suit their requirements.

Council officers would also work with affected business owners and tenants to determine their preferences and potentially source available alternative premises which meet their aspirations.

Clearance of the vacant former University residences and relocation of community growing areas on Sutherland Street – redeveloping these sites for housing – also form part of the proposals.

If approved, the plans would be progressed for public consultation in June 2017, which would see extensive engagement with affected tenants, residents, businesses, landowners and any other interested parties.

All tenants and property owners would be contacted directly and offered an individual face-to-face meeting to discuss their thoughts on the proposals as well as being invited to drop-in consultation events at local community venues.

Discussions would also take place with Paisley West and Central Community Council, Paisley West End Tenants and Residents Association, University of the West of Scotland, private landowners and any other interested groups.

Costs to deliver the masterplan are being developed and will be informed through the consultation process and site investigations of the undeveloped land. Scottish Government grant support for the project would be brought forward through Renfrewshire’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), which includes a £10 million provisional allowance.

Councillor Mags MacLaren, SNP Housing Spokesperson, said:

“I welcome this long-awaited proposal as it will result in improved housing within Well Street and the West End of Paisley. “This proposal has been on the table for years and there is still some way to go before all the funding is secured to enable it to be completed.  However, this proposal would see new housing coming into the West End, including using the gap site behind Well Street.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP Group Leader, added:

“It’s been a while since the original proposal was put out to Sanctuary Housing to bring forward some details, so it’s good that there is now something in the public domain which residents of Well Street can look at. “Obviously, I would hope that existing council tenants and businesses would have a higher priority when it came to any new social housing and new business units within the area but in general terms the plans look promising.” Kevin McNeillie-Welsh, the secretary of Paisley West Tenants and Residents Association, said: “The redevelopment of Well Street is a major issue for us and we have been pressing the housing department to bring forward their proposals. I’m glad they’ve eventually done so as it will now give our members a chance to add their voice to the consultation process.”

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The Voice finalists Into the Ark to headline Paisley Food Festival

The Voice finalists, Into The Ark, have been announced as the headline music act at this year’s Paisley Food Festival.

The talented duo, who finished as runners up on The Voice 2017 will perform at the free event which will take place on Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12pm – 7pm.

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s exciting street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which is due to be submitted at the end of the month.

Dane from Into The Ark said: “We always love playing in Scotland, it’s like a second home for us. It’s great to be supporting Paisley 2021. This will also be our first proper gig since taking part in The Voice, so we’re looking forward to getting back to what we do best.”

Into The Ark are also on tour in across the UK in May and June, including headline dates in Edinburgh and Inverness; a festival slot in Inveraray; and a charity event for Nordoff Robbins in Glasgow.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The growing list of special guests and interesting traders participating in this year’s Paisley Food Festival is sure to attract hundreds to the town for what I’m confident will be the best food festival yet.

“The range of events taking place this month will further help to showcase our town at its very best at a crucial time as we prepare to submit our bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Also confirmed to attend the event are Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, who will host a series of cooking demonstrations, and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs.

The event has a wide selection of producer traders catering for all kinds of tastes with smaller portions available at reduced prices for children. Visitors will also be able to sample a wide range of craft beers, small batch gins and prosecco on tap.

The Cooking Demonstration tent will host a packed programme of free food workshops, which are now almost fully booked.

The festival is just one of three food and drink events taking place that week. Scotland’s largest real ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April and Paisley Restaurant Week, delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, will run from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre.

For more information visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

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West College Scotland successfully launches coding clubs in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools

West College Scotland’s Digital Xtra Project, funded by Skills Development Scotland, is now well underway with the launch of coding clubs. Run by some of the College’s computing staff and students, the clubs are aimed at engaging S1/2 pupils in the use of the BBC Micro:Bit and encouraging them to become more involved in coding.

The clubs have been launched successfully in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools: Paisley Grammar School, St Benedicts High School and Renfrew High School. All of the clubs have been well attended and have seen some great activities taking place including making music from Katy Perry & Star Wars and developing a pong game… controlled by a banana!

Chris Wilson, computing teacher from St Benedicts High School said: “We had a whole lab full of pupils turning up after school in their own time.  The best thing was the gender split – exactly 50/50!  Really great to see so many girls taking a genuine interest in STEM and coding in particular. The hands-on Micro:Bit coding is going down really well with the pupils.  I think the idea of writing code to run on a physical device they hold in their hand gives them something extra.  All pupils seem to have a love for technology and creativity so the Micro:Bit exercises really appealed to them.  The staff and students from West College Scotland have been absolutely fantastic with our pupils and I’d definitely recommend the club to any schools who missed out first time around.”

West college Scotland’s computing students involved in running the clubs are thrilled to share their skills with the pupils while gaining invaluable experience themselves. Michael Walsh, one of the students enrolled in the STEM Ambassador program, said: “This is was a great opportunity to introduce young people to the game development industry to try and get them interested in programming specifically as there aren’t enough people coming out of school and going into the game development sector. This experience is also different from my usual College week and it will be a great addition to my CV for future employment.”

Josh Balling, also STEM Ambassador student, adds: “Taking part in the coding club is a great way to get the kids thinking outside the box while having fun by creating their own code and seeing it work in front of them. Every pupil is interested and engaged and hopefully this could lead them down the path to a STEM career in the future.”

West College Scotland also hosted the second training session for Renfrewshire School Teachers as part of the project. The sessions are run in association with Microsoft Education, Renfrewshire Council and Paisley YMCA.

This time over 20 teachers from primary & secondary schools across Renfrewshire attended the session to further develop their technology skills for teaching and use engaging activities to encourage use of the Micro:Bit in the classroom.

The College is also happy to now be on the Digital Xtra Map, featuring all activities taking place across the country. To find them visit:www.digitalxtrafund.scot/find-an-activity/