Paisley’s Business Improvement District

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A FIRST FOR PAISLEY FIRST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson stated,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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£111k boost for local groups as part of Paisley 2021 bid

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Groups connected to Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 are in line to share a six-figure boost from a fund designed to boost the area’s creative scene.

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Councillors will this week be asked to approve a £111,299 spend from Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, to allow 12 different cultural and charity groups to run a variety of arts-related projects.

The CHE Fund was set up to help unlock Renfrewshire’s creative potential in the run-up to and during the Paisley 2021 bid.

This will be the third round of funding since the CHE Fund was set up – and saw 44 applications and a total ask of more than £700,000 for the judges to sift through.

The 12 projects recommended for approval include:
– £25,000 to Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) to use virtual reality and other digital technology to help older people have new cultural experiences;
– £15,000 for the Paisley First Business Improvement District to fund a project to produce six murals in partnership with local artists and community groups;
– £14,364 to the Historical Adventures group to help bring Renfrewshire’s deaf community together and involve them in arts projects.

Other shortlisted projects include an international tango festival for Paisley, a bi-annual poetry journal, a series of plays on the history of Renfrewshire, and money to help set up a local Scottish-Polish club.

A number of additional projects have been shortlisted but judges did not have all the information they needed to make a final decision on them – so councilors are being asked to give officers the power to approve up to another £45,000 of grants before the board meets again.

Members of the council’s leadership board will be asked to approve that request, as well as approve the other grant awards, when they meet on Wednesday 15 February.

The council set aside £500,000 for the CHE Fund back in 2015, and should the latest 12 applications be approved, £345,401 will have been spent to date.

That would also mean 46 projects will have been supported from a total of 152 applications – and a total funding ask of almost £2m.

Projects funded to date include teenage Kilbarchan animator Morgan Spence’s incredible Paisley 2021 Lego movie, released earlier month and now been seen by millions of people around the world.

Renfrewshire Council Leader and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board Mark Macmillan said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 will bring massive economic and social benefits to the whole area.

“But if it is to succeed we need to show a thriving local creative scene and a proven ability to stage cultural projects.

“The CHE Fund is key to that – we know there is a huge depth of creativity and talent here in Renfrewshire and the fund is intended to help people show that off.

“The response from the public has been phenomenal and the level of ask has far outstripped the funding available.

“That has given the judges a tough task, as they have had to pick between a really high quality of application in each of the three rounds to date.

“We are pleased the latest shortlist includes a range of projects to help some of the less-heard voices locally – such as older adults, the deaf community and women who have experienced mental health difficulties.

“One of the key aims of Paisley’s bid is to harness the power of culture to make people’s lives better and this latest round of funding will help do that.”

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged in April, with organisers at the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport to announce the shortlist over the summer.

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PAISLEY BECOMES THE NEWEST TOWN TO FLY THE PURPLE FLAG

Paisley First is celebrating today after learning it achieved the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE).  Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 17:00 and 05:00.

The Purple flag application was developed over the last twelve months by Paisley First, with partners; Paisley Pubwatch, Renfrewshire Council, Central Scotland Police, Renfrewshire Cabs, Scotrail, Paisley and West Community Council and the Paisley Street Pastors.

Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the ENTE. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works in partnership with key stakeholder groups backed by the government, police and businesses, as well as UK sponsors, Diageo Great Britain.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson stated, “Winning the Purple Flag is another project milestone for Paisley First and our partners, and it is a great credit to the team who have driven the project to completion.  Paisley is the third town in Scotland to achieve this accreditation, joining the latest towns, Aberdeen and Dunfermline.  Towns and cities that have been awarded Purple Flag status have reported increased sales and additional evening events and activities.  Paisley First are currently planning more events and projects for the year ahead and we will present these to our members at our open meeting on the 16th February, 2017 at the UWS.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted the town is now only one of the few places in Scotland to be awarded Purple Flag status.  A number of council staff worked closely with Paisley First and other partners on the application and it is great to see that hard work paying off”.

“This award shows Paisley town centre has been judged as surpassing standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy, and offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

“The work going on around the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is geared towards selling Paisley as a destination and bringing in visitors to spend their money with local businesses.

“For potential visitors to know the town centre has been given an official seal of approval by expert assessors  is a great boost to that work – and with the bid due to be lodged in the next few months, this accolade couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the ATCM said:  “There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together and across the country, we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”

Paisley officially receives the Purple Flag new accreditation on the 8th February, 2017, along with Dublin One, Leeds, Limerick, Maynooth, Reading, Wexford and a further seven towns; Dunfermline, Leicester Square, Newcastle under Lyme, Preston, Salisbury, Sheffield and Southend who have had their Full Renewal status renewed.

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Paisley First Seek Local Makers for New “Makerspace”

Paisley First are looking at the possibility of creating a permanent makerspace in the town centre and would like to hear from any local artisans, artists or traders who might be keen to get involved.

The aim of this exciting new project is to unleash Paisley potential by providing a physical space for open collaboration, idea creation, prototyping and even selling.

The aim of our makerspace is to bring interested minds together to provide spaces where members share available tools and resources, perhaps also containing an allocated space whereby parties sell their arts, crafts and wares to the general public. The idea is that members will draw inspiration from their peers to create a support network – the key to success for any budding entrepreneur.

Paisley First would like to hear ideas on creating a local makerspace from interested parties and would be happy to hear from anyone who’d like to participate in this exciting new venture.

Anyone interested can e-mail Melanie Hughes at the Paisley First office for further information: melanie@paisleyfirst.com

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Vacancy: Paisley First Project Leader

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Paisley First Business Improvement District has an exciting opportunity for an experienced Project Leader who will lead on the development and delivery of projects which will assist businesses and increase footfall within Paisley Town Centre.

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Working with the Paisley First Team, the successful applicant will play their part in the successful delivery of projects which are outlined within the Paisley First Business Plan which our members have asked us to deliver during the project term.

The ideal candidate will have strong project management skills, be highly organised with attention to detail, have excellent written communication skills.

Experience of using social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram would be an advantage.

Salary and Hours

37 hours per week (including weekends when required)

Salary from £20,000 depending on experience

Application Process

If you would like to apply for this position please forward your current CV and covering letter which states your experience and suitability for the role to andrew@paisleyfirst.com

The closing date for applications is Friday the 20th January (noon).

The first interview will take place in Paisley week commencing 23rd January 2017.

The second interview will take place in Paisley week commencing 30th January 2017.

The interview process will consist of a 45-minute interview and 45-minute inbox test.

Attached Documents

PF Project Leader Job Description 301216

Project Leader Person Specification

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Paisley First Seek Artists for Gable Wall Art Project

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Paisley First believes that first impressions count and we would like to create a welcoming town for locals, businesses and visitors alike. Our new Gable Wall Art Project intends to do this and has been devised to showcase Paisley as a vibrant city of culture and heritage. We believe that a more colourful townscape will complement Paisley’s diverse culture, rich heritage and expansive listed buildings. We are now calling out to local artists to help unleash Paisley’s full creative potential. Here is an example of the first concept that will be produced:

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In the foreground, there is a beautiful Scottish bird perched on a large branch picking at a ball of yarn. The bird represents the life and work of Paisley’s Alexander Wilson, who was originally a weaver poet but moved to the US and studied wildlife. Alexander drew hundreds of illustrations of birds and became known as the man who invented ornithology as a science. In the background, there is a Paisley skyline sunset with the iconic Coats Memorial building, built in memory of Thomas Coats, founder of the town’s thread industry. This mural amalgamates historical and cultural elements specific to Paisley which will communicate with people of all ages and walks of life.

 At present, we have identified several possible mural sites in and around Paisley’s town centre. We now seek artists from Renfrewshire with experience of carrying out similar projects to work with us. Artists should submit a short proposal (no more than 200 words) for a mural inspired by Paisley’s rich heritage and culture.  We are amenable to artists submitting a proposal for the work in collaboration. Fee for the project should be clearly stated, but costings for supplies are not required this initial stage. It is highly recommended that artists submit some initial sketches in order to bring their proposals to life

Closing date for proposals is Friday 25th November, 2016. Please e-mail melanie@paisleyfirst.com if you require any further information. Proposals should be submitted FAO Melanie Hughes at the Paisley First office:

Paisley First YMCA Building, 39 High Street, Paisley PA1 2AF

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Pride of Paisley auction is a roaring success

Lions were on the loose all across Renfrewshire on Friday night as the ‘Pride of Paisley’ public art project came to a close.

Autumn lion Photos courtesy of Ian McDonald photgraphy for paisley.org.uk

Autumn lion
Photos courtesy of Ian McDonald photography on behalf of  paisley.org.uk

The 25 colourful lions were auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.

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Paisley Love Buddie was the most sought after lion fetching a magnificent £6500.

The extremely popular public art trail was brought to the town centre by business regeneration group Paisley First as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Inspired by Paisley Museum’s famous ‘Buddy the Lion’, each lion featured a different aspect of Paisley’s unique culture and heritage.

The auction crowd prepare to make their bids

The auction crowd prepare to make their bids

They’ve been the ‘mane’ attraction in the town centre over the past ten weeks which has seen an estimated 20,000 visitors following the trail around the town.

Alongside the 25 full-size lions, 40 mini lions have been spread around the area with the aim of attracting visitors into shops, cafes and restaurants.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First Manager, said: ““The Pride of Paisley has been an enormous success for Paisley First and demonstrates what we can achieve through our business improvement district over the next four years.

“The project increased footfall and brought new visitors into the town who have went on to spend in local shops, restaurants and cafes.  We are currently working on next year’s summer projects which I am sure will be as good, if not better than this year.”

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Pride of Paisley lions brought a real buzz around the town centre and the project has been an unquestionable success.

“We are working hard to regenerate Paisley as part of our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the project has highlighted the community spirit that Paisley possesses- which we need to harness if our bid is to be successful.”

Paisley First Business Improvement District is a business-led organisation which has been tasked with bringing forward events and activities to increase footfall and stimulate investment.

Paisley First are also a key partner in Paisley’s push towards the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

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

For more information on the project visit: www.prideofpaisley.co.uk

For more information on how you can get involved in backing the bid for UK City of Culture visit www.Paisley2021.co.uk.

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Pride of Paisley Auction

On Friday 21st October, 2016 the Pride of Paisley lions will be auctioned with proceeds raised going to the Accord and St. Vincent’s hospices.

Autumn Lion Courtesy of David Muir

Autumn Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

Painted predominantly by local artists, these twenty-five colourful lions have adorned Paisley streets since July as part of the biggest public art project in the town’s history.

Sun Lion Courtesy of David Muir

Sun Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

This Paisley First initiative has raised awareness of the town’s cultural and heritage assets, and attracted new visitors and tourists as part of the town’s culture-led, regeneration strategy. Paisley’s BID manager, Andrew Mitchell said: “The auction will be a fantastic night and will give us the final opportunity to say goodbye to lions whilst raising money for two valuable causes. Thousands of people took part in the art trail, taking them to parts of Paisley they had never seen before. These people also used local shops and businesses they had never used before. We still have some tickets available, so if you’ve nothing planned for Friday, then come and take part in the auction.”

Friday’s auction will take place at  The Normandy Hotel and tickets are priced £36, which includes a three-course meal, live entertainment and of course, the chance to bid on one of your favourite lions. Scottish legend, Andy Cameron, will host the event and there will be live music from Clanadonia, Paisley’s own Cat Caldwell, Iain Forbes and newcomers, Clyde. For those who can’t make the auction but still want to bid on a lion, you can also visit paisleyfirst.com to download an advanced auction bid form. On the evening, the auctioneer will start with the highest minimum bid received. The Pride of Paisley auction starts at 7pm and is going to be streamed live on the Pride of Paisley Facebook page.

Tickets available here.

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Spree for All fringe festival will be magic

Families should get set for some ‘absolutely magic’ free entertainment with the announcement of a magic trail as part of this month’s Spree for All.

Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi's espresso bar

MagicianTrail.jpg – Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi’s espresso bar

The Spree for All fringe festival will see events taking place across the town to co-incide with The Spree, Paisley’s National Festival which runs from 14-22 October and celebrates its fifth birthday this year.

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo with staff from Cardosi's espress bar and Ta Ta Bella's tearoom and Andrew Mitchell from Paisley First

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo with staff from Cardosi’s espress bar and Ta Ta Bella’s tearoom and Andrew Mitchell from Paisley First

As part of the entertainment on offer, a magic trail across shops and cafes will take place on Saturday 15 October (11am – 3pm) and Friday 21 October (11am – 3pm).

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo of Paisley Magic Circle popped into Cardosi’s espresso bar on Paisley High Street this week to amaze staff with some magic tricks.

The Spree for All is being supported by local business development group Paisley First.

Andrew Mitchell, Business Development Manager for Paisley First, said: “We are delighted that Paisley First can support the Spree for All. It’s a great idea and will build on the existing success of The Spree to involve as many of our town centres businesses as possible in a celebration of arts, culture and entertainment.”

Gary Kerr of LNP Promotions, organisers of The Spree for All, added: “This is the first year we’ve tried to organise an event like this and the backing we are getting from local businesses shows the real community spirit we have here in Paisley.

“We think the trail will be absolutely magic and, judging by the tricks that Tommy and Stevo have already shown us, anyone watching the magicians is guaranteed to be amazed!”

Details of the magic trail and other events taking place are available at www.thespree.co.uk/spreeforall and you can follow the fringe festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/spreeforallpaisley. Businesses looking to take part in the festival can contact Gary Kerr or Tommy McGrory directly.

Acts appearing at The Spree festival include Admiral Fallow, Donnie Munro, Carol Laula, Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss.

Tickets can be purchased online from www.thespree.co.uk; from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210; or in person at Paisley Arts Centre or the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street.