Paisley’s Business Improvement District

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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

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

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

Autumn Lion
Courtesy of David Muir

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

MagicianTrail.jpg - Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi's espresso bar

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.

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Spree show with Carol will celebrate Paisley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spree is supported by Saporito and Birra Moretti.

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Paisley says ‘Fàilte’ to supporters for its Royal National Mòd 2021 bid

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

Following its successful hosting of the Royal National Mòd in 2013, Paisley’s bid to again host the celebration of Gaelic culture in 2021 is already gaining support from the Gaelic community, including renowned musician Donnie Munro.

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Royal National Mòd is Scotland’s premier festival celebrating Gaelic language and cultural heritage. Paisley first hosted the event in 2013, when Renfrewshire Council partnered with the local organising committee Meur Phàislig to stage the nine day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature.

(L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer)

(L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer)

The 2013 event was heralded as a success and Paisley wants to build on its successful legacy by bidding to host it again in 2021. The Gaelic festival will hopefully be one of many cultural events taking place across Renfrewshire that year as Paisley bids for UK City of Culture in 2021.

Paisley’s bid to host the Mòd in 2021 was launched by Grant McFarlane, a local musician and Chairman of Fèis Phàislig – Paisley’s annual Gaelic festival which takes place each July. Fèis Phàislig gives young people, up to 18 years old, the opportunity to come together and develop skills in Gaelic music with the aim of inspiring the next generation to get involved with traditional music.

Grant is also organising the Ceilidh Trail events which take place as part of The Spree this year. Open to musicians of intermediate or advanced level, participants will receive tutoring in traditional music before playing in a showcase concert in the Spiegeltent on Friday 21 October. More information is available at www.thespree.co.uk

The Ceilidh Trail is just one of several traditional music events which will take place at The Spree from 14 to 22 October, including performances by Donnie Munro and Skerryvore.

Donnie Munro said: “It was a great privilege to have been involved in Paisley’s previous hosting of the Mòd in 2013. There was a real buzz about the place and the organisation of the venues and events was first class.”

Grant McFarlane was joined at the bid launch by Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell and Renfrewshire Council’s Gaelic Development Officer Alain Campbell.

Depute Provost John Caldwell said: “The feedback we received after Paisley’s successful hosting of the Mòd in 2013 was extremely positive. We are confident we can build on that experience to host an even better celebration of Gaelic culture with the Mòd in 2021.

“The legacy of our previous hosting can still be felt in the town and across the region, and is epitomised by groups like Fèis Phàislig and the important work they do in our communities to promote Gaelic heritage.”

To be able to bid for the Royal National Mòd, potential host towns and cities must be home to a local branch of An Comunn Gàidhealach. As in 2013, Renfrewshire Council will partner with the local branch to form the organising committee.

The Council is hosting an information event on Thursday 27 October at Renfrewshire House for people who are interested in getting actively involved with the Mòd bid. People with a passion for Gaelic language and culture, the arts, and events are encouraged to come along to find out more about how to get involved with bringing this internationally renowned event to Paisley.

While an ability to speak Gaelic is desirable, it’s not a necessity for those getting involved.

Full programme details for The Spree can be found at:  www.thespree.co.uk/

The public information meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 27 October at Renfrewshire House, Paisley.

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Paisley has a roaring good time bidding farewell to town’s lions

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Paisley’s County Square was packed with lions, kids and families as the Pride of Paisley bid fond farewell to the town.

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Huge crowds turned out at the weekend to catch all 25 Paisley lions together for one last big party before they are auctioned off for charity.

During their three month stay in Paisley, the lions were a big draw for kids, families, shoppers and visitors to the town.

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

The Pride of Paisley project was inspired by Paisley Museum’s famous Buddy the lion and each lion featuring a unique aspect of Paisley’s heritage and history.

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Wild At Art events elsewhere in the UK are bringing a boost in shopping centre footfall by around 25 per cent, a sales hike of almost 20 per cent and a 39 per cent increase in the number of visitors.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First Manager, said: “Thank you to everybody who came into Paisley to say goodbye to the lions.  The Pride of Paisley has been a massive success for Paisley with over 40 schools in Renfrewshire participating and over 20,000 people visiting the lions during the summer. These people then used many of our local shops, cafes and restaurants.  The project also appealed to wide range of ages, and from speaking to visitors at the farewell, everybody enjoyed having the lions in town.

“The lions will soon be auctioned off, so if you want to own a piece of Paisley history, then please get your bid in”.

Accord and St Vincent’s hospices will both benefit from the money raised at the Pride of Paisley charity auction on Friday 21 October.

The auction takes place in the Normandy Hotel and tickets (£36) include a three course meal and entertainment from Scottish legend, Andy Cameron, Clanadonia, Clyde, Iain Forbes and Cat Caldwell.  Anyone who wishes to buy a lion but is unable to attend the auction can download and return an Advanced Auction Bid form from www.paisleyfirst.com.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Pride of Paisley captured the imagination of everyone in Renfrewshire and beyond. Everywhere in town was buzzing with kids and families visiting the lions all around the town centre.

“The public art trail was a fantastic opportunity to explore the town and look at our heritage and history. As the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 continues, there will be more exciting projects like this taking place in Paisley and Renfrewshire.”

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.

To book a place at the Pride of Paisley charity auction, visit www.prideofpaisley.co.uk/auction.

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‘Pride of Paisley’ roars into record books

Pride of Paisley, Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall

On Saturday, October 8, Paisley in Scotland will bid an official farewell to the ‘Pride of Paisley’, a lion-inspired public art trail (in homage to ‘Buddy’ the lion, a much loved exhibit at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery) that has been the largest in the town’s history.

Pride of Paisley, Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall

Pride of Paisley, Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall

The aim of the project has been to raise awareness of Paisley’s cultural and heritage assets, and to encourage people from across Renfrewshire to reconnect with the streetscape, as part of the town’s culture-led, regeneration strategy. Culture-led regeneration is at the very heart of Paisley’s current bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Pride of Paisley + PACE theatre player who helped create one of the sculptures

Pride of Paisley + PACE theatre player who helped create one of the sculptures

For three months, people were invited to follow the family-friendly trail of 25 colourful lion sculptures, painted by local artist and sponsored by local businesses, in locations across the town. Families came in their droves to see “the pride” and to create their own mini “buddies”, which took pride of place in local shops, cafes, restaurants and public buildings. The mini buddies have now been returned to the 63 schools in the region that created them.

The sculptures have been a source of great pride in Scotland’s largest town – which has suffered decline since its traditional textile industries collapsed, but is currently working towards a revival, which is gathering pace – and have been enjoyed and watched over by local people (affectionately know as “Paisley buddies”). It is further evidence for Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid that art and culture can play an enormous part in regenerating an area.

Hundreds of local people are expected to descend on the town’s Country Square tomorrow to see all 25 lions in one place, one final time.

Paisley First manager, Andrew Mitchell, said:

“There has been a phenomenal public response to the lions, generating a real feel-good buzz as people have gone out to explore the town centre and learn more about things they had perhaps come to take for granted.”

The town has a schedule of exciting events and exhibitions over the next year and being home to PACE Theatre Company, which is one of the largest youth theatre companies in the UK with A-list alumni including Paolo Nutini and James McAvoy, Paisley is certainly one to watch.

The large lions sculptures will be auctioned off at an event on October 21 with all money raised going to St Vincent’s Hospice and Hospice Accord. The shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 will be announced in April 2017.

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Last chance to go on the prowl

Ian Henderson,chairman Paisley First, Gayle Brannigan, chief executive Pro-Life and Julia Barclay who works at the gym but is going on the prowl at the weekend and of course Colourful Paisley

It’s the main event

Buddies are being urged to prowl around town and put themselves in the frame before the Pride of Paisley disappear from the streets on Sunday night. (Sept 25).

Ian Henderson,chairman Paisley First, Gayle Brannigan, chief executive Pro-Life and Julia Barclay who works at the gym but is going on the prowl at the weekend and of course Colourful Paisley

Ian Henderson,chairman Paisley First, Gayle Brannigan, chief executive Pro-Life and Julia Barclay who works at the gym but is going on the prowl at the weekend and of course Colourful Paisley

The lions, which have been a roaring success, will be rounded up and taken to their den where they will stay until they line up for public auction on Friday, October 21.

But before they go Pro-Life Fitness Centre and Paisley First have joined forces in a bid to give folk the chance to snap up some great prizes by taking a memorable picture on the unique Lions Trail.

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Three people will win a year’s membership to Pro-Life in New Sneddon Street with goodie bags up for grabs too during the main event this weekend.

All you have to do is visit the 23 lions in the town centre – Glasgow Airport is excluded – and record the visit either on the Paisley First app or in picture form.

There will be prizes for the funniest method around the route – like getting a lift in a wheelbarrow for example. Then another free year’s membership for the most unique mode of getting around the trail – perhaps on a space hopper maybe – and another prize for the most impressive lion for those who dress up.

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The winning pictures will be chosen from those taken at Pro-Life’s lion, Wild Paisley which is no 11 on the trail at Oakshaw Trinity church.

Ian Henderson, chairman of Paisley First Business Improvement District (BID), the group designed to put new life in the town centre is backing the final weekend competition.

He said: “We are delighted to support this initiative by Pro-Life and it is a great idea to encourage everyone to see the Lions during a fun event before they are rounded up.

“The competition and generous prizes are an added attraction and I am sure that Pride of Paisley will enjoy a final flurry of activity.”

Gayle Brannigan, chief executive at Renfrewshire Sports Charity which runs Pro-Life,  added: “The lions have been a wonderful addition to the town and everyone thinks they are just brilliant.

“Every time we have one here in the gym people just love it. We’ve had Colourful Paisley here for a while after he was brought home from Glasgow’s Central Station and he’s been a star attraction.

“I’ve been so impressed with the staff and volunteers at Paisley First and when the manager Andrew Mitchell was looking for something to bring it all to a close we came up with the idea of giving everybody the chance to win a year’s membership to Pro-Life.

“We work hard here and our motto for members at the moment is that if you want to be a lion you have to train with the lions. That’s what we’re giving people a chance to do.

“I think we will all be sorry to see them go but pictures last a lifetime so it’s worth getting snapping and saving the memories. The fact that we’re giving three people the chance to get fitter and healthier is an added bonus.”

To register to take part call Pro-Life on 0141-889 5027 or call in at the centre on 98 New Sneddon Street. Entries can be posted on Pro-Life’s Facebook page or emailed to info@prolifefitnesscentre.com

You must complete the trail to enter and can do it any time from now until the lions are caged on Sunday night.

Mr Henderson revealed: “Tickets are now available for the Lion Auction dinner at the Normandy Hotel on 21st October when all 25 Lions will be sold without any minimum reserve price.

“Open to the public and priced at £36, they are available from the Paisley First Office, PACE, online, Eventbrite and several other outlets in the town.”

The Pride of Paisley trail runs until Sunday, September 25 and has been an overwhelming success, bringing more than 20,000 visitors to the outdoor exhibition