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Interactive Exhibition Celebrating Paisley’s Past, Present and Future Opens at Paisley Museum


Part exhibition, part workshop and part digital studio, the new Made in Paisley exhibition at Paisley Museum is an experiment in creativity and collaboration. Drawing on the rich creative talents of individuals and communities across Renfrewshire, this is the first ever exhibition that is inspired and shaped by our visitors, with hands-on activities for all the family, film screenings and artist-led workshops including free Minecraft workshops. Made in Paisley will open on Tuesday 11 October and close on Sunday 15 January. Admission is FREE.


Neil Bristow, Creative Learning Co-Ordinator at Renfrewshire Leisure and organiser of the exhibition states ‘Made In Paisley draws on a strong authentic tradition of making which exists within the communities of Renfrewshire. We are really excited about drawing on this heritage in fun and exciting ways to reconnect people with their past, and inspire them for the future.’

This constantly evolving exhibition will encourage visitors to explore and celebrate what makes Paisley and Renfrewshire unique. Taking place across 4 art galleries at Paisley Museum, Made in Paisley will feature a Story Wall; a large scale installation made up of hundreds of individual squares, each featuring people’s individual stories. The squares will comprise a variety of different materials and mediums, some created through facilitated workshops others will be created onsite throughout the exhibition.

The ‘Future makers’ part of the exhibition will comprise a digital maker space, featuring computer editing facilities and a specially created ‘Paisley in Minecraft’. There will also be tutor-led drop-in Minecraft workshops during the October week for visitors to learn how to use Minecraft to create their own version/story of Paisley.

A series of films will be screened at our ‘Made in Paisley’ cinema, with a programme of films all about Paisley as seen through the eyes of local filmmakers, celebrating 50 years of filmmaking in the town.

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Renfrewshire remembers Willie Gallacher with cairn on Paisley High Street

(l-r): Stewart MacLennan (Scottish Labour History Society), Councillor Michael Holmes (Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader), John Foster (Morning Star), Audrey and Eric Canning (Custodians of the Willie Gallacher Memorial Library)

One of Paisley’s most famous political sons has been remembered with the unveiling of a new cairn on the town’s High Street.

(l-r): Stewart MacLennan (Scottish Labour History Society), Councillor Michael Holmes (Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader), John Foster (Morning Star), Audrey and Eric Canning (Custodians of the Willie Gallacher Memorial Library)

(l-r): Stewart MacLennan (Scottish Labour History Society), Councillor Michael Holmes (Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader), John Foster (Morning Star), Audrey and Eric Canning (Custodians of the Willie Gallacher Memorial Library)

Willie Gallacher was born in Paisley on 25 December 1881 and went on to become the UK’s last Communist Member of Parliament, serving two terms in the House of Commons for his West Fife constituency. Gallacher died, aged 83, in Paisley on 12 August 1965, with an estimated 40,000 people lining the town’s streets as his funeral cortege passed.

The one time President of the Communist Party of Great Britain was well thought of both within and out with his own party, gaining respect for his commitment to his principles. Throughout his life, Gallacher worked tirelessly for workers’ rights, often falling foul of the powers that be and law while remaining true to his beliefs.

He was an active member of the ‘Red Clydeside’ movement and campaigned throughout the First World War and afterwards for the establishment and protection of workers’ rights, including a maximum 40 hour working week. In 1916, Gallacher was sentenced to six months in prison under the Defence of the Realm Act for his involvement in the publication of an article criticising Great Britain’s involvement in the war.

Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader, Councillor Michael Holmes, said: “Willie Gallacher should be a reminder to us all.  History records his burning ambition to improve the lives of the working class.

“I have had the privilege of speaking to those who knew him and they talk of his self-modesty, his respect for political opponents and his passion for peace and social justice.

“He truly was a giant of the working class – a great parliamentarian and a man who sacrificed his own personal freedom for the causes and philosophy in which he believed.”

Audrey Canning, Custodian of the Willie Gallacher Memorial Library, said: “We are pleased that there is now a lasting memorial to Willie in his hometown. Willie was known and highly regarded for his unwavering adherence to his beliefs throughout his life.

“He was a modest man who did not seek acclaim and lived his life simply and this cairn is a fitting memorial to Willie as it captures how he lived his life and how he’d wish to be remembered.”


A simple stone cairn was chosen to commemorate Gallacher in light of the extremely modest way in which he chose to live his life, despite his relatively high profile.

A mini-exhibition celebrating Gallacher’s life and his political achievements is also on display at Paisley Museum. The collection of artefacts, books, newspaper articles and archive videos is open to the public and available to view, for free, until November 12.

The exhibition includes a bronze bust of Gallacher by renowned Russian sculptor Evgeny Vuchetich. Reputed to be Josef Stalin’s favourite sculptor, Vuchetich is best known for the famous Swords to Ploughshares sculpture which sits outside the United Nations’ headquarters in New York.

The unveiling of the memorial cairn was attended by local politicians, members of the Communist Party, relatives and associates of Gallacher.

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Older People’s Comunity Art workshop at Paisley Museum


At part of the Paisley Digital Art Commission by UWS, the two artists, Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, will be running a workshop at Paisley Museum from 10 am on Friday 28 October.


This workshop will be a crafts workshop, dealing with memory and reminiscence, and how we represent memories. The artwork made at the workshop will form part of the exhibition, which will also include the commissioned ‘Paisley Pearl’ digital loom that will generate a unique paisley pattern for everyone in Paisley.

The workshop is free, and you don’t need any digital or craftmaking skills to take part. Registration is via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/paisley-pearl-art-commission-community-workshop-tickets-27729302089 or e-mail belle.doyle@uws.ac.uk if you would like to come.

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Forestry Commission speaks at next Natural History meeting


Paisley Natural History Society is continuing its autumn programme of evening talks with an illustrated talk by Derek Shannan, Community Ranger, Forestry Commission Scotland on Thursday 6 October at 7.30pm in Paisley Museum.


Forestry Commission Scotland manages the National Forest Estate, some of Scotland’s greatest natural assets. They are responsible for harvesting trees, planting new ones and play a fundamental role in wildlife, environment and heritage conservation.

Forests form part of the unique character of our countryside and Forestry Commission Scotland undertakes research to ensure sustainable forest management, supporting a wealth of biodiversity as well as providing places for people to work and visit.

The talk is free to attend and open to all.
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Doors Open Day – Sat 3rd Sept and Sun 4th Sept

Paisley Doors Open Day 2012 by JMS

We’re ready to step inside and explore Renfrewshire’s historic and beautiful buildings as their doors open to the public for the weekend. Here’s what’s on over the weekend.

Paisley Doors Open Day 2012 by JMS




Anchor Mill, 7 Thread Street, Paisley, PA1 1JR, Sat: 10.00-16.00, Woodhouse and Morley, 1886

Brediland Allotment Association, Cardell Drive, Paisley, PA2 9AE, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Church of the New Jerusalem, 17 George Street, Paisley, PA1 2LB, Sat: 10.30-15.30

Diane Mitchell Music School, Brick Lane Studios, Forrester House, 7/9 Weir Street, Paisley, PA3 4DW, Sat & Sun: 10.00-16.00

Holy Trinity & St Barnabas Scottish Episcopal Church, St James Place, Moss Street, Paisley, PA3 2AF, Sat: 10.00-16.00, Sun: 10.00-12.30 (including Service)

John Neilson Institute, Oakshaw Street West, Paisley, PA1 2DE, Sat: 10.00-14.00, Charles Wilson, 1852

Lagoon Leisure Centre, 13 Christie Street, Paisley, PA1 1NB, Sat & Sun: 10.00-13.00

Lapwing Lodge, Gleniffer Road, Paisley, PA2 8UL, Sat: 10:00-16:00,

Lodge Gleniffer 1219, 68 Maxwellton Road, Paisley, PA1 2RD, Sat: 9.00-17.00

Martyrs Sandyford Church, Broomlands Street, Paisley, PA1 2PP, Sat 10.00-13.00

Oakshaw Trinity Church, Oakshaw Street East, Paisley, PA1 2DD, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Paisley Abbey and the Place of Paisley, Abbey Close, PA1 1JG, Sat: Place of Paisley gift shop and café, 10.00-16.00. The Abbey (including the tower), 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-16.00

includes: Corsage workshop, 12:00pm – 2:00pm, Yarn Storming Public Workshop, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Origami Workshop, 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley, PA1 1EZ, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Paisley Central Library, 68 High Street, PA1 2BB, Sat: 9:00-17:00

Paisley Central Methodist Hall, 2 Smithhills Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Paisley Community Fire Station, 55 Canal Street, Paisley, PA1 2HQ, Sun: 10.00-16.00

Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BA, Sat: 11.00-16.00, Sun: 14.00-17.00

Paisley Photographic Society, Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BA, Sat: 12.00-16.00

Paisley Sheriff Court, St James Street, Paisley, PA3 2HW, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Paisley Threadmill Museum, The Mile End Mill, Abbey Mill Business Centre, 12 Seedhill Road, PA1 1JS, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Paisley Town Hall, Abbey Close, Paisley, PA1 1JF, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Provost Charity Zip Slide (special event), East End Park, Paisley, PA1, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1AN,  Sat: 10.00-14.00 (Customer Services Centre) 11.00-14.00 (Council Chambers)

Scottish Ambulance Service (new entry),  Paisley Ambulance Station, 15 Craw Road, Paisley, PA2 6AD, Sun: 12.00-15.00

Sma’ Shot Cottages, 2 Sma’ Shot Lane, Paisley, PA1 2HG, Sat: 10.00-16.00

St Matthew’s Church of the Nazarene, Gordon Street, Paisley, PA1 1XL, Sat: 10.30-15.30

St Mirin’s Cathedral, Incle Street, Paisley, PA1 1HR, Sat: 13.30-17.00

Tannahill’s Cottage, Queen Street, PA1 2TT, Sat: 11.00-15.00

The Bield, 40 Broomlands Street, Paisley, PA1 2NP (within Woodside Cemetery), Sat : 10.00-16.00

Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, High Street Paisley, PA1 2BA, Sat: 12.00-16.00

Walking Tours on Wheels and Historical Paisley,  39 High Street, Paisley, PA1 2AF, Sat: tours at 11.00 and 13.00

Wallneuk North Church, Abercorn Street, Paisley, PA3 4AB, Sat:10.00-12.00



Inchinnan Bascule Bridge, A8 Inchinnan Road, Renfrew, Sat: 10.30-15.00, Bridge opening times – 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00

Renfrew Community Fire Station, Paisley Road, Renfrew, PA4 8LJ, Sun: 10.00-16.00

Renfrew Leisure Centre, Paisley Road, Renfrew, PA4 8JL, Sat & Sun: 9.00-17.30, Hourly tours run from 10.00-13.00

Renfrew Town Hall, Renfrew Cross, Renfrew, PA4 8PF, Sat: 11.00-16.00

Renfrew Victory Baths, Inchinnan Road, Renfrew, PA4 8ND, Sat: 9.00-13.30, Hourly tours from 10.00-13.00

St Margaret’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Oxford Road, Renfrew, PA4 8LG, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Trinity Church, 13 Paisley Road, Renfrew, PA4 8JH, Sat: 10:00-14:00



Auld Simon,Johnshill, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4ET, Sun: 11.00-17.00

Castle Semple Country Park, Lochlip Road, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4EA, Sat & Sun: 10.00-16.00

RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Largs Road, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4JF, Sat & Sun: 10:00-16.00


Bridge of Weir and Kilbarchan

Kilbarchan Parish Church, Steeple Square, Kilbarchan, PA10 2JD, Sun: 12.00-16.00

St Machar’s Ranfurly Church of Scotland (new entry), Kilbarchan Road, Bridge of Weir, PA11 3EG, Sat: 10.00-16.00

St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Johnstone Road, Bridge of Weir, PA11 3EE, Sun: 12.30-16.30


Houston and Johnstone

Houston and Killellan Kirk, Kirk Road, Houston, PA6 7AR, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Johnstone Community Fire Station, Kings Road, Johnstone, PA5 9HW, Sat: 9.00-16.00

Johnstone Community Sports Hub, Beith Road, Johnstone, PA5 0JA, Sat & Sun: 10.00-16.30

Johnstone History Museum, Morrisons Supermarket, Napier Street, Johnstone, PA5 8SF, Sat & Sun: 10.30-16.00

Johnstone Town Hall, 25 Church Street, Johnstone, PA5 8FA, Sat: 11.00-16.00


Erskine and Inchinnan

Erskine Community Allotments (new entry), Barrhill Road, Erskine, PA8 6BU, Sat: 10.30-16.30

Erskine Swimming Pool, BridgewaterShopping Centre, Erskine, PA8 7AA, Sun :10.00-13.00

Inchinnan Parish Church, Old Greenock Road, Inchinnan, PA4 9PB, Sat: 10.00-16.00

Park Mains High School, Barrhill Road, Erskine, PA8 6EY,  Sat: 10.00-13.00, Hourly tours



On-X (Linwood Sport and Community Centre), Brediland Road, Linwood, PA3 3RA, Sat & Sun: 9.00-16.30

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Your guide to extravaganza of entertainment

Renfrewshire Leisure marketing assistant Alex Maske with copies of The Guide brochure

LET us entertain you could be the theme tune to this autumn’s line-up of cultural events being staged at venues throughout Renfrewshire.

 Renfrewshire Leisure marketing assistant Alex Maske with copies of The Guide brochure

Renfrewshire Leisure marketing assistant Alex Maske with copies of The Guide brochure

A varied programme of shows, exhibitions and workshops is being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure between now and the end of the year.

And an events brochure listing all that is going on, called The Guide is launched today. (Friday)
The colourful brochure – jam-packed with information about almost 30 different shows and events – can be picked up at Paisley Town Hall, town halls, Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley Museum and sports centres. The Guide can also be downloaded by logging on to  www.renfrewshireleisure.com

The events being staged feature drama, music, dance, comedy, exhibitions, talks and workshops.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We’ve put together a fantastic programme of events with something for everyone.
“People won’t have to go far this year to find something to have a laugh at, enjoy musical performances, or be stimulated by interesting talks and exhibitions.
“We’re campaigning hard for Paisley to be designated City Of Culture 2021 and with so many different types of cultural activities we’re staging between now and the end of the year, you’d think we would win hands down.”

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Paisley Pattern conquers world…then is launched into space!

Renfrewshire Council sending paisley pattern to space.

The Paisley Pattern has already carried the name of its home town around the globe – now it’s going out of this world.

15/7/16 PAISLEY OBSERVATORY  Renfrewshire Council sending paisley pattern to space.

Renfrewshire Council sending paisley pattern to space.

A swatch of the Paisley Pattern several inches in size has been launched into space inside a capsule on board a rocket bound for the International Space Station.

15/7/16 PAISLEY OBSERVATORY  Renfrewshire Council sending paisley pattern to space.

Renfrewshire Council sending paisley pattern to space.

The Space X Falcon 9 rocket on the CRS-9 mission launched from Cape Canaveral just before 6am this morning (around 00.45 US EST).

Once up it will orbit the planet at speeds in excess of 17,000mph around 220 miles above Earth on a journey of more than 15 million in total over the next six weeks.

The patch of pattern itself came from a shawl held by Paisley Museum as part of a special reserve to the main collection set aside specifically for research purposes.

When the rocket comes back to earth, the swatch of pattern will be recovered and brought back to Paisley where bosses on the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 hope to be able to put it on display.

The interplanetary link-up was the brainchild of Paisley Buddie Andy Campbell – the commercial director of the International Space Station Educational Trust (ISSET).

ISSET is the organisation which brought the week-long Mission Discovery space school to Renfrewshire – which is led by real NASA astronauts and sees groups of local pupils design their own science experiments, with the winner launched into space and carried out on board the ISS.

Andy said: “I’ve been fortunate to be working with ISSET for a number of years now and the work they do sending school experiments into space is amazing.

“We’ve ran Mission Discovery in Paisley for three years now and given the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, I thought it would be a great idea to organise a swatch of Paisley Pattern from the Museum to be sent into and returned from space.

“The Pattern is a global success, this way it will get to orbit the planet!”

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall added: “The Paisley Pattern has already carried the town’s name around the world – now it’s conquered the galaxy too!

“Things like this are a great way to remind people of Paisley and Renfrewshire’s connections with the rest of the world and of what the area has to offer residents and visitors alike.

“For example Paisley already has a great vantage point from which to enjoy a view of the stars, with Coats Observatory one of the few remaining public observatories in Scotland.

“I look forward to being able to welcome the piece of pattern back to Paisley once it has been recovered from its epic journey.”

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Gesture – Expression in Modern Art


An exhibition exploring how ideas and emotions are communicated through art, will open at Paisley Museum on Saturday 16 July. Gesture – Expression in Modern Art will feature some seldom-seen works and recent acquisitions from the Paisley Museum collection. The exhibition is part of a Scotland-wide programme of events celebrating the American artist Jon Schueler’s work Jon Scheuler during the centenary year of his birth. Gesture is FREE of charge and will run until Monday 26 September.

Andrea Kusel, Curator of Art at Paisley Museum and the curator of the exhibition states ‘Modernist artists of the twentieth century deliberately departed from tradition, preferring to express ideas and feelings, rather than simply representing the “real”. This exhibition includes works from the Paisley Museum collection and loans from the Jon Schueler estate.’

Councillor Jim Harte, Chairman of Renfrewshire Leisure, states ‘We are delighted that Paisley Museum is part of the Jon Schueler centenary celebrations, as this allows us the opportunity to showcase some works of art from the Paisley Museum Collection that have not been presented in living memory or are recent additions to the permanent collection’.

There will be free creative family workshops with activities linked to the Gesture exhibition on the following dates at Paisley Museum : 21 July, 28 July and 4 August.

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Paisley’s famous son remembered with new museum display


One of Paisley’s most renowned sons was remembered with a commemorative ceremony in the town, hosted by Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall.


L-R: Bob Carruth, President of Paisley Burns Club, Andrew McMillan, President of the Tannahill/McDonald Club, Provost Hall & Tom Nixon, Secretary of Tannahill/McDonald Club

To mark the 250th anniversary of Alexander Wilson’s birthday, the Provost accompanied a group of guests on a tour of the sites most associated with the famous poet and scientist- known as the Father of American Ornithology.

Led by Paisley historian, Les Fernie, the Provost and members of Tannahill-MacDonald Club and Paisley Burns Club began their tour at the statue of Wilson in Abbey Close. Here, a poem commemorating his life and achievements was read by Bob Carruth, President of Paisley Burns Club.

The group then laid a wreath at the commemorative plaque for Wilson at the Hamills Waterfall before proceeding to Paisley Museum. Here, Les revealed details about the significance of the parrot which rests in the statue’s hand in Abbey Close.

The Provost formally opened a new public display dedicated to Wilson and his works which will remain open until 4 September.

Provost Anne Hall said: “It is incredible to think that 250 years after his birth in Paisley, Alexander Wilson is still celebrated here, and across the world. For a man from such humble beginnings, he went on to have a significant impact on society and the scientific community which can still be felt today.

“The Alexander Wilson story is just one thread of the rich tapestry of history and culture which runs throughout our town and supports our bid for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture. I encourage local people to visit the new display at Paisley Museum to learn about the town’s heritage and consider how it can help shape our future prospects.”

Born in Paisley on 6th July 1766, Wilson is perhaps best known for his work in documenting the bird species of the USA. This work only took place after he emigrated to the Americas in 1794, but he had already made his presence felt in his home town long before then.

Forced to become an apprentice weaver at an early age, after the death of his father, Wilson quickly came to realise the weavers of Renfrewshire were often exploited by their employers. Wilson put his thoughts on social injustice to paper, often in poems, and it was not long before he came to the attention of the authorities.

Arrested in 1794 and charged with distributing radical propaganda, Wilson decided to leave the country to avoid further conflict with the law. He arrived in Delaware on the east coast of the USA on 14th July 1794.

Despite having only five years of formal education and little disposable income, Wilson dedicated his time to travelling the States to document 268 species of birds, including 26 new to science. A keen artist, he also completed colour illustrations of each species which were the most anatomically accurate of the time.

Wilson’s work was published in nine volumes, across five years, but, unfortunately, he did not see the final two volumes published. He died in 1813 but his legacy lives on, not only in Paisley but in museums, universities and homes across the globe.

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£4.5m town centre revamp to start as national lottery funding confirmed

High Street 03

Plans for a multi-million-pound transformation of Paisley town centre have now cleared the final funding hurdle after receiving a £1.9m national lottery grant.

High Street 03

Renfrewshire Council will now start work on a five-year £4.5m Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest.

The Heritage Lottery Fund last year awarded the council £113,000 to prepare detailed plans for the scheme, and earmarked a further £1.9m subject to approval of those plans – which has now been given.

Historic Environment Scotland has already confirmed an award of £1m towards the scheme to cover repairs to historic buildings, with the rest of the total to be made up by Renfrewshire Council and investment by the building owners themselves.

The programme will start this year and will focus on a defined area covering the west end of the High Street – from the junction with New Street to the university – plus parts of New Street and Shuttle Street.

A series of priority buildings have already been identified for repairs and restoration, while the HLF money will also fund a programme of community activity designed to complement Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

It will build on the success of the £3.5m THI/CARS scheme which has transformed the area around Causeyside Street over the past few years, including shopfront repair grants, public realm improvements, and a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted this award has been confirmed and we would like to thank our friends at Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland for supporting our ambitions.

“Paisley town centre has a tremendous built heritage – with only Edinburgh having a higher concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland.

“This project will deliver some much-needed investment to bring some vacant historic buildings back into use.

“In doing so we will not only be improving the look and feel of the town centre, but also stimulating the local economy, and hopefully increasing footfall in the area around the High Street.

“The project is scheduled to run until 2021 – making it a perfect fit for the UK City of Culture bid and the planned £56.7m revamp of Paisley Museum – and will deliver a programme of activity designed to complement both.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area and the standard of living for the people resident there.

“Investing National Lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.

“Building on the success of what has been achieved already, we are delighted to make this award to Paisley. It is part of our on-going commitment to preserving Scotland’s heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today.”