Paisley Photographs, official Paisley website containing Photographs of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland with some superb videos of Paisley and the town.

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21st edition of Provost’s Community Awards launches in Renfrewshire

Local heroes across Renfrewshire are to be recognised as the Provost’s Community Awards open once again for nominations.

The awards are into their third decade and aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire, and are making a difference to their community.

Nominations can be made in six categories this year, an increase from five in previous years.

A new Arts and Culture award has been created which will seek out the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This will be my first Community Awards in my role as Provost and I can’t wait to see the nominations coming in.

“Our area is full of inspiring community members who deserve to be recognised for the difference they make to the lives of those around them.

“There are a number of different categories to nominate in so don’t miss your chance and nominate the people or groups who you think deserve to win a Community Award.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment and have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their staff.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Further information can be found on www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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From New York to New Street for PACE panto star

ACTOR Chris Alexander is swapping New York for New Street, in Paisley to take the role of the Dame in this year’s PACE panto, Snowhite.

Scots-born Chris performed in New York as part of Ramesh Meyyappan’s production of Butterfly, which was part of the Brits Off Broadway Festival, at the 59E59 Theatre, in Manhattan, last year.

And earlier this year, Chris was back in the USA with the same production – an adaptation of Madame Butterfly – staged in Millersville, Pennsylvania.

But the Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street will be Chris’s stage from November 25 until December 30 when he stars in the Snowhite panto.

Also appearing in the panto, written and directed by Ross Stenhouse are professional actors Chloe Lupton, as Snowhite; Dani Heron, as the Evil Queen; Danny Holmes, as The Prince and Nathan Byrne, taking the comic lead.

And of course, there will also be 100 local youngsters who are members of PACE, taking part in the hilarious adaptation of the traditional panto.

Tickets only recently went on sale and already more than half the seats have been snapped up.
The show is produced by PACE panto stalwart, Alan Orr who also takes on the role of musical director.
Alan said: “Everyone at PACE is working their socks off to make this the biggest and best panto we’ve ever done.

“We’ll be performing a magical, fun-filled family show with laughter every step of the way and loads of audience participation.

“Our Dame, Chris Alexander is a very experienced actor and is a really funny guy. He’s got natural comic timing and has experience performing in panto many times before.”

Tickets, priced from £9.50p are available from the Arts Centre Box Office, by logging on towww.boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 300 1210.

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Work starts on archaeological dig to explore a mysterious site near Paisley Abbey

Work has started to unearth a mysterious site next to the grounds of Paisley Abbey as part of an archaeological dig.

Paisley Abbey archaeological dig 18.9.17

The Paisley “Wee Dig 2017” is taking place from 18 to 23 September 2017. This project will investigate a previously unexplored part of the Abbey Drain site excavated to shed light on what lies beneath alongside a programme of events to allow people to get involved. This ties in with ambitions set out in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The project has been funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones programme as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Paisley’s iconic 12th century Abbey is an outstanding architectural gem in the town and was also the cradle of the Royal House of Stewart as a number of the Stewarts were buried within its walls. It is also believed that Robert II, the first Stewart king of Scotland and the grandson of Robert the Bruce, was born within the walls of Paisley’s Abbey. The Abbey also has a fascinating underground history – the magnificent medieval Abbey Walkway.

The “Wee Dig 2017” will expand what is already known about Paisley’s monastic past as well as inspiring some budding archaeologists of the future.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Iain Nicolson said: “The ‘Wee Dig 2017’ celebrates our town’s unique history and heritage and is a great way for the public to learn more about Paisley’s past and learn new skills in the process.

“This project ties in ties in with the main themes of our Paisley Town Centre Action Plan 2016 – 2026 which aims to regenerate the town centre and create jobs and also highlights how we are delivering on these plans by making the most of our assets to attract more people and businesses into the town.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it’s our ambition that people of all ages will have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about.

“We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the wee Dig will be opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”

Over the course of the week a series of interactive workshops are taking place with local school children, community groups and members of the public. These sessions will involve experiencing the dig itself, learning about various archaeological techniques and looking at artefacts from previous digs.  A film on the Paisley Abbey Walkway will be featured to allow visitors to see what is under the area of the dig site.

The dig and supporting activities will be led by archaeologist firm GUARD Archaeology Limited who will manage the project on the ground, lead the workshops and be on hand to answer questions about what is uncovered.

GUARD Archaeologist, Bob Will, said: “The drain is an amazing architectural structure. It’s so well built and very detailed – it’s a very interesting structure to investigate.

“Working with volunteers from the Renfrewshire Local History Forum, community groups and members of the public who will visit the site this week we will unearth the site and see what we can find.”

The public is encouraged to come along, get involved and to share their experiences of this archaeology event, taking place during archaeology month, on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #WeeDig2017.

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Keeping fit is child’s play

KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.
For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out. KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.

For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out.

RL Mum and baby Metafit 8.9.17

It’s part of the sport and leisure organisation’s newly-launched fitness timetable and the first two child-friendly classes are Baby Friendly Metafit and Buggy Spin, held at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

One mum, Kim O’Connor travels all the way from Pollok, in Glasgow to attend the Baby Friendly Metafit class, in Paisley with her one-year-old daughter, Melanie.

Kim, 30, said: “Everyone who can help with looking after Melanie works full time, so I wouldn’t be able to attend a fitness class during the day.

“The baby friendly classes are like a breath if fresh air for me and it’s good to know you’re getting back in shape. It also lets me do something like keeping fit at a time that suits me.

“I really look forward to going along to my fitness classes with Melanie every week. And even though she’s only one, I’m setting an example to Melanie that health and fitness is important.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It can be difficult getting back to your normal fitness routine after having a baby and you can lose the sense of who you are because of the demands on your time looking after a child.

“You can’t always find a babysitter when your favourite fitness class is being held especially during the day when family and friends are working. So, we’re giving mums the option of bringing their babies along with them.

“Although, you don’t need to bring a baby along to join the classes, as everyone is welcome!”
The new Renfrewshire Leisure timetable offers a variety of classes and workouts including a wide range of aerobic fitness sessions, along with ballroom dancing, spin, Zumba, kettlebells, Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, outdoor and indoor boot camps and meditation and guided relaxation.

They are held at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, The ON-X, Linwood, Erskine Sports Centre, Renfrew Leisure Centre and Johnstone Sports Hub. Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com  for more information.

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Singing Children of Africa Choir wow crowd with Paisley return

A chorus of beautiful voices filled Paisley Town Hall last night (Sunday 17 September) as the Singing Children of Africa Choir returned to the town for another sparkling performance.

The group of youngsters, aged nine to 16-years-old from the Jolaurabi School in Mombasa, Kenya, warmed the hearts of the hundreds in attendance with The Angels Tour 2017 show.

The show also featured Kirklandneuk Primary School pupils, who performed scenes from The Lion King, as well as special performances by the Renfrewshire Community Gospel Choir and dancers from the award-winning Street Stuff youth scheme.

Choir teacher Simon Sims was also on hand to entertain the audience with a solo performance on his return to Paisley before all performers joined together for a rousing rendition of Flower of Scotland.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of Renfrewshire Council supporting the event and was part of the exciting calendar of activities taking place as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021.

MSP for Renfrewshire North & West Derek Mackay announced during a speech at the event that over £15,000 had been raised for Scottish charity Educate the Kids, including £5,000 funding from the Scottish Government.

The Singing Children of Africa Choir were set up by the charity, which raises funds towards the youngsters’ education and development by bringing the choir over for concerts around the country.

Renfrew volunteers Mike and Lynn Baldwin – who have been involved with the charity for over 10 years – have regularly organised the children’s visits to Renfrewshire, including their last tour in August 2016.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who welcomed the choir and audience on the evening, said: “I was delighted to welcome the Singing Children of Africa choir back to Renfrewshire and it was a special sight to see them perform in Paisley’s historic Town Hall.

“These amazingly talented youngsters really captured the hearts of those in attendance with their wonderful voices and inspirational stories. The tours organised by Educate the Kids helps to give the children the education they deserve and it’s great to see local people helping such a fantastic cause.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Seeing the Singing Children of Africa choir and talented local groups from across Renfrewshire putting on a special performance in the beautiful surroundings of Paisley Town Hall was a wonderful experience.

“This concert is another example of the wide range of cultural activities taking place as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – and with our annual music, comedy and drama festival ‘The Spree’ just weeks away it really is an exciting time for the area.”

Find out how you can sponsor a child at https://www.educatethekids.com/support-a-child/.

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Tom Urie helps Burger and Keg say cheers to Paisley’s Spree programme

Paisley’s annual Spree festival is being served up with a side-order of burgers, beer and banter – with local bar Burger and Keg bringing some of Scotland’s top comedians to the town.

RDC Burger and Keg 11.9.17
Burger and Keg in Gilmour St
photo with bar owners Gary and Trevor with Tom Urie, who will be appearing in their tent during this year’s Spree.

The Gilmour Street venue has teamed up with Fosters to stage a Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close for the first nine days of the annual festival, on between 13 and 24 October.

The 150-capacity venue will host top names including Paisley’s very own Tom Urie – who will appear alongside fellow comedian Janey Godley on Wednesday 18 October.

Other well-known comedy acts appearing 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 (Thurs 19th).

RDC Burger and Keg 11.9.17
Burger and Keg in Gilmour St
photo with bar owners Gary and Trevor with Tom Urie, who will be appearing in their tent during this year’s Spree.

There’s also an entertainment programme from Paisley-based promoters NNE and a showcase hosted by regular Burger and Keg open-mic man Johnny Barr, while free daytime shows include theatre workshops for kids from AG Theatre School and poetry classes run by Paisley Poems.

The Burger and Keg Live Tent will also be open as an outside bar for fans attending the main Spree shows in Paisley Abbey, including eagerly-anticipated and sold-out gigs from Paisley’s Paolo Nutini and Frightened Rabbit with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

You can see the full list of shows and buy tickets at www.burgerandkeg.co.uk

The Spree festival is now in its sixth year and taking place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Burger and Keg will also run the bar inside the Spiegeltent in County Square, where the bulk of the Spree action will take place, as well as an additional outdoor Fosters Bar tent in the square.

And the pub itself – stationed handily between the Spiegeltent and the festival box office in the InCube shop in Gilmour Street – will be open for business and serving food until 9.30pm and drink until midnight (1am on Friday and Saturday) during the 12-day festival.

Singer and actor Tom Urie – who starred in the BBC’s Proms and the Park event at the weekend with a stirring rendition of opera classic Nessun Dorma – popped into Burger and Keg to meet owners Trevor Mills and Gary McCaw, who also runs the town’s Bianco and Nero cafe and function room.

Tom said: “I am looking forward to performing in my home town in the Burger and Keg Live Tent during The Spree. I’ll be there with my pal Janey Godley for a night of music and comedy…and I look forward to seeing you then!”

Trevor added: “The Spree festival is great for Paisley – it and other events bring footfall into the town which benefits us and other businesses, and if we win UK City of Culture 2021 that will move to a totally different level.

“So we are delighted to be involved in The Spree and delighted to add to the festival atmosphere around the town with the shows in the Burger and Keg Live Tent.

“We have attracted some outstanding performers with national profile and tickets are on sale now so please check out the programme and join us in October.”

The main Spree bill includes music from James Grant, Dougie MacLean, Breabach, Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, and Sharon Shannon and Fara.

There’s also comedy in association with Edinburgh’s famed Gilded Balloon club, plus theatre, dance, spoken word and a full programme of free kids shows for the October school holidays.

The Spree is supported by EventScotland and the British Council. The full programme and tickets are at www.thespree.co.uk.

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Johnstone pupils and teachers are top of the class

Fordbank Primary School in Johnstone achieved top marks in a recent inspection by Education Scotland.

The school received three good and one very good grades on the four quality indicators audited – leadership of change; learning, teaching and assessment; raising attainment and achievement; and ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion.

The inspection, which was part of a national sample of education, showed that the school’s strengths were:

-Effective leadership of the acting headteacher.

-Strong inclusive ethos in which children feel safe; cared for; and valued.

-Children show a high level of respect for one another.

-Strong partnerships with parents that supports children’s learning.

Carol McCormick, Headteacher of Fordbank Primary School, is delighted with the school inspection results. She said: “Everyone in the school is passionate about the learning and teaching experience in Fordbank Primary School. It’s fantastic to have a positive report that reflects on the support we give to all pupils to achieve their potential within an inclusive and nurturing environment. That ethos is at the heart of what we do at Fordbank and all staff share a commitment to continuous improvement with a clear focus on raising attainment for all and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson,said: “The result for Fordbank Primary School shows that teachers, parents and staff are all working together for the benefit of the pupils.

“Audits are supportive tools to continuously improve education and schools. This positive report shines a light on four key areas of strength in the school, but also encourages Fordbank Primary School and Renfrewshire Council’s Children’s Services to make further improvements in relation to strategic planning on raising attainment levels and building on pupil’s learning as they move through the school.”

Council officers and teachers in the school are now preparing an action plan to address areas of further improvement, which will be shared with parents.

For more information on education audits, visit www.educationscotland.gov.uk.

 

Photo Credits

1. Photo captions left to right

a) Rebecca Brown, P7, Logan Davison, P3, Education and Children’s Services Convener, Cllr Jim Paterson, Jamie Lynne Wallace, P4, Carol McCormick, Headteacher, Bryan Duncan, P6 and Beth Kelly, P5.

b) Laura McCracken, P5 teacher, Kirsty Stevenson, P4 teacher, Lesley McArthur, P3 teacher, Lyndsay Gray, P2 teacher, Carol McCormick, Headteacher, Education Convener, Cllr Jim Paterson, Lorna Nathani, ACE Base teacher, Anne Connor, P1-3 Classroom Assistant, Moira Traynor, P1 teacher, Joanne Kerr, ACE Base Classroom Assistant, and Kirsteen Kennedy, P3-7 Classroom Assistant.

c) Cara MacDonald, P6, Education Convener, Cllr Jim Paterson, and David Dougal, P4.

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Proposals reveal options for Paisley major sports facility

New options for a major sports facility in Paisley will be presented to elected members next week.

Renfrewshire Council officers were asked to provide alternative proposals for sports facilities in the area to the next Leadership Board on Tuesday 19 September.

FREE PICTURES FIRST USE
Paisley host the British Pipe Band Championships 2017. featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers
This is one the most prestigious events in the world piping calendar and a showcase of Paisley’s ability to stage major events attracting an audience in the tens of thousands. The event will also take place during the period when Paisley aims to be shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition.
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

The proposals would provide Paisley and Renfrewshire with a modern fit-for-purpose multi-sports ground with a number of outdoor sports facilities.

It would also be able to host major outdoor events that supports Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

FREE PICTURES FIRST USE
Paisley host the British Pipe Band Championships 2017. featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers
This is one the most prestigious events in the world piping calendar and a showcase of Paisley’s ability to stage major events attracting an audience in the tens of thousands. The event will also take place during the period when Paisley aims to be shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition.
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

The proposals include options for the site, including road access, car parking, pitches, cycle tracks, indoor facilities and hard-standing areas.

Councillors will also be updated on the consultation that took place with residents on housing in the Tannahill area. They are asked for their approval to conduct a detailed review of options to inform future investment in new build and refurbished property.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It is important we get this decision right for the people of Ferguslie and for Renfrewshire as a whole. Officers were asked to seek alternative options for the development of sport facilities at St James Park that would support an outdoor space for hosting large scale events and members of the Leadership Board will be looking at these next week.

“We’ve already seen St James Park used for large scale events, such as the British Pipe Band Championships, and these proposals will help elected members look at what will support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and what supports the people living in the local area.”

Paisley will submit its final bid to the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of September.

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Residents praise plans to regenerate Paisley’s West End

Residents and business owners in Paisley’s West End have welcomed plans to regenerate the area.

Public consultation over the summer shows strong support for the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan, which outlines proposals for around 150 private and social homes and the potential provision of new commercial units.

This would be developed through demolition of low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor properties on the east side of Well Street and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East.

Vacant land formerly used as the University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence would be cleared and community growing areas on Sutherland Street would be relocated within the West End under the masterplan proposals.

Consultation started in the summer and is being conducted with residents and business owners in the masterplan area and with people in the wider community.

The feedback so far demonstrates strong support for the regeneration plans, with more than 80% of Council tenants and residential property owners in the Well Street area who have responded to the consultation to date agreeing with the proposals for demolition.

Residents and business owners commented on the benefits of the area’s central location, good public transport links and the close-knit community.

Consultation also showed the challenges facing Paisley’s West End, with high levels of vacant properties in a poor condition and issues including anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Convener of the Leadership Board, said: “These proposals seek to deliver transformational change in the west end of Paisley. They have been developed in recognition of the importance of the area in the regeneration of Paisley town centre.

“I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to make their voice heard on the draft masterplan. We are continuing to consult with the public on these proposals and public consultation feedback so far has underlined how important the west end of Paisley is to the people who live and work there.

“The proposals have been well received, recognising a collective desire to improve the area. Yes, the area has challenges, but we are determined to meet these head on and these proposals look to address low demand for existing housing and commercial premises and also bring surplus undeveloped land back into use.

“Councillors from every party will consider these findings next week as we look to improve housing conditions and regenerate Renfrewshire communities.”

Councillors will note the consultation findings in a report to the Leadership Board on Tuesday (19 September) and consider approving the next stage of the masterplan development which would see a fully costed, finalised masterplan brought forward to the next board in December.

Officers are still keen to hear from as many from tenants, residents and business owners as possible. Call 0141 618 6003 and arrange to speak to the Council’s Planning and Housing team about the regeneration proposals.

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James Frew Ltd apprentices starting 4-year training at WCS Paisley Campus

Yesterday, West College Scotland welcomed the “James Frew academy” apprentice plumbers on their first day here at our Paisley Campus.


The apprentices are embarking on a four year tailor-made modern apprenticeship which incorporates the Plumbing Vocational Qualification alongside other industry qualifications which are important to James Frew’s business.
Here to see the students embark on this programme from James Frew Ltd. were Yvonne Smith (Training Manager) and Kevin Kidd (Compliance and Training Manager).
West College Scotland will be partnered in this venture by The Scottish and Northern Ireland Employers Federation (SNIPEF).

Photo Captions

On picture DSC_0539 – front from left to right: Paul Lynn, West College Scotland Construction Curriculum & Quality Leader; David Walker, West College Scotland Building Services Curriculum & Quality Leader; Yvonne Smith, James Frew Ltd. Training Manager; and Kevin Kidd, James Frew Ltd. Compliance and Training Manager – back: 2017/18 James Frew academy apprentices