Paisley’s Business Improvement District

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Paisley is flying high thanks to Purple Flag status

Paisley’s status as a safe, inviting night time destination has been celebrated by the installation of its Purple Flag in the town centre.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board, with the Purple Flag

The town was awarded Purple Flag status in January this year in recognition of its thriving evening and night time economy, becoming just the fourth place in Scotland to be awarded the status.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Nicola Williamson, Senior Environment Coordinator, Renfrewshire Council and Eileen Heron

The Purple Flag is the benchmark for good night time destinations and town and cities must provide a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture, while promoting the safety and well-being of visitors and local residents to achieve the status.

Councillor Marie McGurk raising the Purple Flag

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Paisley has been recognised as an exciting, diverse, safe place to enjoy a night out and we’re proud to fly the Purple Flag in our town centre.

“To achieve the status we had to show Paisley was welcoming to all, offers safe ways for visitors to travel home and provides a range of inviting establishments for people to visit.

“The work that has gone on behind the scenes with each of the partners involved has been fantastic and the final application proved just how deserving the town is of Purple Flag status.

“As we look ahead to the decision on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the achievement of this status is yet further evidence that Paisley is an attractive and vibrant place for people to visit and spend money in.”

The application for Purple Flag status was developed by Renfrewshire Council and Paisley First, with input from close partners including Scotrail, Police Scotland, Paisley Pubwatch, Renfrewshire Cabs, Paisley Street Pastors and Paisley and West Community Council, and considered five key themes: Wellbeing, Movement, Appeal, Place and Policy.

Councillor Marie McGurk and Eileen Heron, Project Leader, Paisley First

Ian Henderson, Chairman of Paisley First, said: “When the much-coveted Purple Flag was awarded to Paisley in early 2017, it was an important milestone event. It endorsed the town as a safe place to have an entertaining night out and we are delighted that the award has been renewed.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Nicola Williamson, Senior Environment Coordinator, Renfrewshire Council and Eileen Heron

“The award is particularly reassuring to the thousands of students who come from overseas to Paisley each year to study. Paisley First would like to thank all of the local stakeholders involved with the Purple Flag that have worked hard to retrain the accreditation.”

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.

There are more than 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are accredited with Purple Flag status, including UK City of Culture host cities Hull and Londonderry.

For more information visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/purpleflag

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Code Red Safety Solutions helps Paisley 2021 with Spectrum Lion

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Paisley’s leading fire safety instruction company Code Red Safety Solutions has temporarily donated the lion they won the bidding war that was the pride of Paisley ceremony at the Normandy hotel last year with all money going to charity.

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James McMahon from Code Red Safety Solutions dropped off the lion Spectrum at the Paisley 2021 HQ on the high street today and will allow the lion to be displayed in Paisley Town Hall when the judges from DCMS for the Bid for City of Culture come to town sometime before Decembers big deadline.

The Pride of Paisley was a fantastic success from Paisley First last year in town and people can visit Spectrum in the Bid HQ for now and then in the Town Hall. You can learn more about Code Red by visiting their website www.coderedsafetysolutions.co.uk who are always helping groups in Paisley and are keen for Paisley to win City of Culture

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Paisley Spree For All Fringe Festival Gears Up for Best Ever Year

The Spree for All is gearing up to build on its debut last year and is returning even bigger and better than ever.

The fringe event for Paisley’s national arts festival The Spree promises a packed programme of live music, poetry readings, comedy and more.

The launch comes as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Paolo Nutini will headline this year’s main Spree event with a sold out homecoming gig at Paisley Abbey, while indie rock band Frightened Rabbit and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean are also part of the line up.

The Spree for All, organised by local music charity LNP Promotions and sponsored by Paisley First, sees local bars, cafés and restaurants  host a string of live gigs across the town from 14-22 October.

There will be a Family Zone in the High Street on both Saturdays during the event with music, magicians, balloon artists and face painters.

Interactive theatre company Mischief La-Bas will also be adding to the fun with their wacky performances.

LNP co-founder Tommy McGrory said:  “They are street artists who will perform as The Elvis Cleaning Company and also perform a pedestrian Grand Prix. They dress up in moustaches and goggles with plastic cars, it’s great fun.

“It’s all happening in and around Paisley.”

Music lovers should also check out the Burger & Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close.

The 150-capacity venue will host top names including Paisley’s Tom Urie, who will appear alongside comic Janey Godley on Wednesday 18 October.

Other comedy acts include Burnistoun’s  Rab Florence, supported by Scotsquad’s Darren Connell (Saturday 14th), the team from ICW Wrestling (Monday 16th) and the Thinking Drinkers alongside Billy Kirkwood (Thursday 19th)

Other venues include the Cave, the Gantry, The Anchor Bar, the Bull Inn, Hamishes Hoose, Zambretto, The Old Swan Inn and the Wee Howff.

The Abbey Bar, Bar Pre and the Bungalow  will also host events, while CC’s features  the H-Arts Drama and Performance groups and  comedy from Gary Little & friends on Friday October 13, as well as poetry readings.

Tommy McGrory  added: “The Spree for All is the coming together of the people who put on live music and more around the town. It’s got pretty big this year and there’s something for everyone in the town. This year the quality and diversity of the programme is even bigger and better.”

The event also features also a youth stage at Paisley Cross on both Saturdays featuring local talent from 1pm – 5pm.

The Spree for All Fringe is sponsored by Paisley First, the non profit organisation set up to deliver a Business Improvement District in Paisley Town Centre.

Chairman Ian Henderson said: “Paisley has a vibrant cultural scene and we are delighted to support Spree for All in their efforts to take The Spree to venues across the town centre.

“We are hoping to encourage as many people as possible to visit the town and take a fresh look at all Paisley has to offer.”

For a full Spree for All programme of events go to: http://www.thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all/

For tickets and further  information on the Spree main festival, go to http://www.thespree.co.uk/ or call the Box Office on 0300 300 120.

Information on the Burger and Keg events can be found at https://www.burgerandkeg.co.uk/

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Choir from current UK City of Culture host city put on show of support for Paisley 2021

A choir from current UK City of Culture hosts Hull visited Paisley for a special performance to show support for the town’s 2021 bid.

Almost 70 members of Hull’s All For One Choir wowed passers-by with a rousing performance on the town’s High Street.

2017 City of Culture All For One Choir visited Paisley hopefuls on Saturday 23rd September.
They serenaded the locals with an impromptu performance before taking in some Paisley culture

The choir – which features volunteers from Hull’s successful bid for UK City of Culture 2017 – stopped by the town to entertain the crowds following their performance at Glasgow’s City Halls with the Glasgow Philharmonia.

Hull have seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish location, and only town, on the shortlist for the title of UK City of Culture 2021, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area, with the final bid document due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month.

Hull’s All For One Choir was founded by musical director Helen Garnett, who reached the live semi-finals of television show Britain’s Got Talent 2016 as part of The Garnett Family.

Helen said: “Our choir has performed in locations such as Florence, Dublin and even the Netherlands and it’s lovely to come to Scotland this year.

“I used to live in Bridge of Weir, so I have a soft spot for Paisley and was very aware of the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. As we were in Glasgow for a show the night before we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to come to Paisley and put on a performance.

“We’re passionate about singing and want to share that with everyone. Coming from Hull – the current UK City of Culture – we wanted to make some ties with Paisley and show our support for the bid.”

“Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “We are delighted to welcome the Hull All For One Choir for a spectacular public performance right in the heart of Paisley town centre.

“Having supported a number of events for Hull’s UK City of Culture year, it is fantastic news that the choir is throwing its support behind Paisley’s bid. This is a great boost as we make our final preparations to submit the town’s final bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

“Performances like this showcase just what a City of Culture looks like and, should Paisley win, we could have events like this every weekend.”

The winner of the UK City of Culture 2021 bid will be announced in December.

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Call out for artists to step forward for new Paisley First Mural

Paisley First is looking for artists to submit design work for the latest project in our Paisley First Walls Series.

 

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Following on from the success of our recent murals in the town’s Johnston Street, Storie Street, Lawn Street and Lady Lane, we are now moving to Incle Street.

 

The wall at the side of Elma Whyte School of Dancing is one of the most prominent locations in the town as a main thoroughfare for traffic in and out of the town.

 

As a means of reflecting something of the town’s artistic heritage, of which the dance school is a part, the concept should include a dominant yet uncluttered and contemporary paisley Pattern motif which forms the major part of design background.

 

Set into this pattern, there should be a clear symbol of the rich history of dance training which is synonymous with the building and throughout the town.

 

”Paisley is a town which is rich in culture and all the murals have their own distinct theme reflecting this.” said Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson.

 

He continued: “I am sure Paisley’s talented artists will help ensure this latest mural provides another great talking point for residents and visitors to the town.”

 

Adelle Maasz who took over the running of the school from her mother, Elma Whyte, in 2012, said:” We believe that the pedigree and the heritage of arts-based excellence that the Elma Whyte dance school represents, as well as the highly visible location of the school, mark the site out as a great opportunity to add to the Paisley mural project that has brought the town so much positive publicity.”

 

“We are looking forward to playing our part in such an inspiring community project.”

 

The Paisley First Walls Series is part-funded with a grant through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

 

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The Paisley First Walls Series has already been a fantastic addition to the Paisley streetscape – and this latest mural has a really great location.

“As a massive dance fan and former pupil of Elma Whyte, this is a subject close to my heart and I am delighted our great local dance scene is being celebrated in this way.

 

“The strength of that scene features strongly in our UK City of Culture 2021 bid – Renfrewshire’s participation in dance is well above the Scottish average. I would encourage artists to get involved and I can’t wait to see the submitted ideas.”

 

Initial designs and written concepts should be submitted to Paisley First by 9 am on Friday 29th September. Submissions should also include the artist’s quotation to carry out the project and this fee should also cover all materials, equipment and insurance as required. These can be handed into the Paisley First office or emailed toask@paisleyfirst.com. Artists must either work or live in Paisley, or have prominent links to the town.

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PLANS TO BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO HISTORIC PAISLEY LANDMARK

the coats memorial

Plans are being submitted to Renfrewshire Council which would safeguard the future of one of Paisley’s best loved buildings, Thomas Coats Memorial Church.

The project would see the church transformed into a world class events and entertainment venue which could be used for arts performances, concerts and weddings.

the coats memorial

Looking to retain the striking features of this gothic inspired building, the proposal would see minimal alterations to the fabric of the building which has been under threat for many years due to rising maintenance costs.

Plans, which have support from Historic Environment Scotland, include a distinct theatre performance space and banqueting facility.

With an imposing position at the top of the town’s High Street, the church was commissioned by the family of Thomas Coats of Ferguslie in his memory and completed in 1894.

Known colloquially as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe, its spired gothic design is famous the world over.

However, this stunning building needs significant investment to be preserved for future generations.

With a dwindling congregation and a lack of essential funds required to maintain this iconic building, it is important that action is taken now.

Following year long discussions, a steering group has been working with the current trustees for the last six months to explore options to preserve this important landmark in Paisley’s history.

With the support of the trustees, a new vision has emerged to take this building forward and provide a resource which will benefit the town of Paisley for many years to come.

The man behind the project is Paisley entrepreneur, Ian Henderson, who serves as Chairman of Paisley First Business Improvement District and also sits on the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board.

“I have long been an admirer of this stunning building and like many Buddies, I am concerned that it may be lost to future generations if urgent action isn’t taken,” said Ian.

“As well as creating a world class venue for the arts and events, this proposal would also allow the continuation of University of West Scotland graduations at the church.

“Preserving this magnificent and historically important building now will bring benefits to all in the community.”

Speaking on behalf of the existing trustees, Allan Driver, said: “The existing trustees have spent a significant number of years trying to find a sustainable solution which will safeguard the future of the building, which is too important to be lost to the people of Paisley.

“Of all the options investigated, this is the proposal which we believe provides the most secure future for Thomas Coats Memorial Church.”

The plans being submitted to Renfrewshire Council, for a change of use for the building, would also allow for the continued use of the church by community groups who are currently based there.  

The current trustees of the church would hand the building over to a new trust, Coats Memorial Church Paisley Ltd, comprising of local business people who are all keen to ensure this Paisley landmark is preserved.

It’s expected the funding for the project would be a combination of private investment and grant funding. The application to Renfrewshire Council has been submitted today and is subject to a 21 day consultation period.

To see the designs being submitted to Renfrewshire Council please visit www.cmcpaisley.co.uk

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Come and join the Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun!

Come along to County Square in Paisley town centre this Saturday, 19th August, for the Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun!

From 11 am to 12noon we have Tickles The Clown, back by popular demand!

Then from 1.30pm until 3.30pm there’ll be story-time from The Village Storytelling Centre inside the Piazza Shopping Centre Paisley.

Then we’ll be rocking the town centre with the Paisley First Unsigned Showcase…Hosted by Loud ‘n Proud and Brick Lane Studios Paisley

We have a cracking line-up for you –

The Asuras 12noon – 12.40pm

The Vanities 1 pm – 1.40pm

Lemonhaze 2pm – 2.40pm

Delphi. 3pm – 3.40pm

The Turkey Nuts 4 pm – 4.40pm

So a great day out for all the family, come and join in the fun!

Paisley’s Got Talent Grand Final – Saturday 26th August – County Square, Paisley

It’s the event of the summer in Paisley!

As part of the Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun 2017, a talent competition was launched to discover the next One Direction, Little Mix, Diversity, Kevin Bridges or David Copperfield!

The crowds in Paisley town centre have been treated to some top class performances, Paisley Buddies are such a talented bunch!

Now the finalists for the Grand Final which will take place in County Square on Saturday 26th August, starting at 12noon…have all been confirmed!

It promises to be an afternoon not to be missed!

All the finalists are listed below, who is going to be crowned the Paisley First winner, and walk away with the Paisley’s Got Talent £1,000.00 star prize?

Next week, Paisley First will be telling you a little more about each of our finalists, who will you be rooting for? See www.paisleyfirst.com for more details…

The 12 finalists are:

* Laura & Claire Murray *Adam Dolan *Hollie Robinson

*Olivia McDonald *Emily Punton *Matt Fotheringham

*Emma McConnachie *Ruby Langfield *Emily Irving

*Archie Collingridge-Watt *Nadia Allan *Sasha Kaloheris

Well done to everyone who has taken part!

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Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun continues this weekend at Johnston Street!

Paisley’s First’s Summer Festival of Fun brought a Frozen Singalong to the town centre last Saturday.

 

Kids of all ages were treated to an appearance by “Elsa” singing kids favourites such as Let it Go and For the First Time in Forever as well as a few other classic Disney hits.

Buddie the Paisley Lion led the dancing and both Buddie and Elsa posed for photographs with some young fans afterwards.

There was also an arts and craft session where kids of all ages were able to make their own musical inspired crafts..

Then it was time for a band showcase by indie pop outfit Twenty Four and then Chesko Gonzalezc, a Latin acoustic band.

The fun continues this Saturday, 12th August, when the Summer Festival moves to the town’s Johnston Street, off Causeyside Street.

Heat 3 of Paisley’s Got Talent will be taking place at Johnston Street starting at 1 pm. Who will be the last contestants to book their place in the Grand Final, and be in with a chance to win the £1,000.00 star prize?
Judges this week will include up-and-coming Paisley singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski.

But before our Paisley’s Got Talent contest gets underway, Pirate Pete will kick off the fun at Johnston Street at 11.30am!

Plus there will be face painting, balloon modelling and goodies for the children!

It’s an event not to be missed so get along to Johnston Street this Saturday!

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Welcome to Paisley – Completed mural heralds new arrival at Gilmour Street

Paisley’s vibrant art scene has welcomed a new arrival to the town with the completion of a Paisley First mural inside the town’s main train station.

L-R – Artist Sandy Guy with Heather Collins, ScotRail Alliance’s Station Manager for Paisley, Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson and artist Caroline Gormley

Paisley First, with the support of the Scotrail Alliance, commissioned local artist Caroline Gormley to produce an artwork for a wall on the corridor to Platforms 1 to 4 in Paisley Gilmour Street Railway Station.

Commuters and visitors to the town have been amazed as they watched the transformation during the summer as Caroline and co-artist Sandy Guy worked tirelessly on the wall.

The talented duo have painted iconic people, places and historic moments from the town’s past – everything from a mill girl, a burning witch and Gerry Rafferty to Fulton Mackay, the Russell Institute and the Hillman Imp car.

Braveheart William Wallace and Caroline’s previous Buddie artwork are also highlighted.

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson said: “More than four million passengers pass through Gilmour Street, the town’s largest railway station, every year.”

“Caroline and Sandy’s hard work has had visitors to the town captivated as they watched it develop day by day.”

“The finished work is amazing and it’s a great way to tell Paisley’s story while providing a warm Paisley welcome for people using the station from near and far.”

The project came to fruition thanks to the support of station managers, the ScotRail Alliance.

Heather Collins, the ScotRail Alliance’s Station Manager for Paisley, said: “The station team at Paisley, along with myself and all the train crews who pass through, love this mural.

“It brings Paisley’s heritage and famous residents to life and tells the town’s story to the many rail travellers who use the station every year. Well done to Caroline and Sandy.”

Artist Caroline Gormley, who completed the work with co-artist Sandy Guy, said: “First port of call is getting on the train that brings you to Gilmour Street station, the gateway to Paisley and its vibrant culture, which will definitely give you something to write home about.”

“It’s a celebration of Paisley people, their vision, enthusiasm, positivity, determination, humour and hard work.”

“Paisley wouldn’t have heritage if it wasn’t for the people of the town, this has been the case throughout our history and it continues today.”

“The use of the postcard was to add an element of humour, also the postcard may be seen as a thing of the past when it comes to communication but people have to look to their past in order to create a better, brighter future.”

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Paisley Got Talent Auditions at County Square tomorrow

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there will be total of twelve acts performing with an age range of 8-38 years old. There is something for everyone ranging from singers, dancers, guitarists and even a ukulele player.

Get on down to County Square tomorrow where the fun will kick off from 11am when Tickles the Clown (Insert photo) will be there to entertain the younger buddies before the main attraction of the day – the second heat of Paisley’s Got Talent  where Big Al will be on stage to introduce the next twelve entrants to our competition.

Come along and show your support for our very own talented Paisley Buddies, all vying for the Paisley’s Got Talent trophy and Grand Final Prize of £1000 – still time to get your entries in for the final heat on 12th August!!

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Buddie (Insert photo), the Paisley First Mascot will also be making appearances throughout the day to entertain the audience and provide photo opportunities. Kirsty will also be present between 12-3pm for face-painting and balloon modeling for all our younger little Buddies. The day will end with an acoustic set on stage until 4.30 pm.

 

Come on down to our Summer Spree, have some fun, and all for FREE!!!!