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Award-winning theatre maker premieres new show in Paisley


Paisley is set for a unique Halloween spectacular as multi-award-winning visual theatre maker Al Seed holds the world premiere of his latest solo show The Tapping as part of the town’s winter festivities.


The show – a gothic-horror melodrama based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – is part of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and taking place during its Halloween festival, in Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October.

Al – a former artist in residence at Glasgow’s The Arches – is a critically-acclaimed performer who designed his latest performance based upon a long-term fascination with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and elements from Greek myths.


The show is one of the first to be funded through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – a five-year £500k programme to transform the town’s creative scene and build up cultural capacity during the Paisley 2021 bid.

Paisley 2021 Project Director Jean Cameron said: “For an artist as well respected as Al Seed to premiere his new show here is a major coup for Paisley ahead of the bid going in next year – and it just highlights our growing reputation as one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations.

“We are delighted the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has enabled Al to create this original piece of work and I would recommend you book early for what is sure to be a fantastic spectacle in one of Paisley’s iconic venues.”

The Tapping is described as ‘drawing upon the myth of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld’ and will ‘take its audience down a hallucinatory spiral of madness’ within the stunning backdrop of Paisley Town Hall.

The show relies heavily upon strong visual and design elements, original music, and the space in which it is set, while drawing upon the history and conventions of gothic-horror literature and art, and related genres.

Al Seed added: “I am delighted to be presenting the debut of The Tapping at Paisley Town Hall and in support of the Paisley 2021 bid.

“This past year it has been wonderful to receive so much support in the making of the show; especially from the staff at Paisley Arts Centre, Johnstone Town Hall, and Paisley Town Hall itself. I am now really looking forward to sharing the finished results.”

The Tapping will be at Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October. Tickets – costing £10 and £6 – are available now at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by calling 0300 300 1210.

The show is being produced by FERAL Arts in association with Renfrewshire Leisure. Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Events and Heritage Fund as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

Paisley’s Halloween festival is free to attend and runs from Friday 28 until Saturday 29 October and will feature a spectacular lantern-lit parade through the town and a fire garden of flame-breathing sculptures. More information at www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Monte Carlo Rally 2017

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

The town of Paisley has once again been confirmed as the sole UK start point for the 2017 historic rally run to Monte Carlo.

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill in their 1930 Austin Seven Ulster 2-seater sports with Paisley Abbey in background

It’ll be the fourth time the town – which is bidding to be the 2021 UK City of Culture – will be the only British start point out of seven European cities for a range of historic cars to make the 1300 mile trip to the South of France.

(left to right) Paisley start organiser Douglas Anderson; Andrew Goodfellow; Derek Coghill; Renfrewshire Council Provost Anne Hall

(left to right) Paisley start organiser Douglas Anderson; Andrew Goodfellow; Derek Coghill; Renfrewshire Council Provost Anne Hall

Close to a hundred cars are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm on Wednesday January 25th in three separate categories.

The Historique class is being run for the 20th year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill

Driver Andrew Goodfellow and co-driver Derek Coghill

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1980 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish in Monte Carlo after checking in at a series of control points on the way.

Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale events and will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland.

In January this year a crowd of more than 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and fireworks…..and working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland the organisers are confident of making the start even bigger and better next year.

The event was officially launched this morning by Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011.

He believes the 2017 start will be the best yet.

He said: “The Paisley Abbey Start will flash round the world on the evening of 25th January 2017.  It is universally acknowledged as the best start in Europe and with the help of the good folk of Paisley who come out in their thousands to cheer the competitors on their way, we will keep it that way.”

Also there was one of the entrants in the 2017 event, Andrew Goodfellow from Dundee and co-driver, his brother-in-law Derek Coghill and their 1930 Austin 7 Ulster 2-seater sports which will – hopefully – complete the drive to Monte Carlo.

Said Andrew: “What a fantastic opportunity this is to take part in this historic event and were both totally confident that we and the car will make the 1300 miles. We’ve been prepping the car over the past month with still lots more to do to it to ensure everything is in top condition before we set off. The only concern is the very strong likelihood of snow while driving through the Alps.”

Their drive will also raise funds for SAMH, the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

The event is being supported by Renfrewshire Council. Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to be hosting the only UK start leg of the Monte Carlo Classic Rally here in Paisley again in 2017, for the fourth year in row.

“Next year we will be submitting the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, and to have this prestigious and truly international event  in the town centre just helps cement Paisley’s status as a key destination on Scotland’s map of major events.

“The people of Renfrewshire and beyond have always turned out in huge numbers to wave the cars off against the striking historic backdrop of Paisley Town Hall and Abbey, and I am sure they will be as excited as we are to welcome the event back.”

Giving his backing to the event is Scotland’s latest motorsport champion, Gordon Shedden, who won the British Touring Car Championship for the third time earlier this month.

He said: “Scotland has such a proud history in motorsport and it’s great to see Paisley as the only UK start point for this classic event. The Honda Civic Type R in which I compete is the latest example of car technology but I love getting behind the wheel of something from the past. I wish everyone taking part the very best of success…..and an enjoyable and safe drive to Monte Carlo.”

More information can be found at  www.monte.scot

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They’re good sports for backing Paisley’s City of Culture bid

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

THE team running sports and leisure activities in Renfrewshire is backing Paisley’s bid to win City of Culture status in 2021.

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Yesterday, board members of Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs sports, leisure and cultural centres locally – spelled out exactly why they support the bid.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have no doubt that Paisley’s rich heritage allied to the vibrant cultural activities Buddies are presently involved in and the fantastic plans for the future, merit City of Culture status.
“Sport, whether in participating or spectating, plays a huge part in the culture of our town. And we at Renfrewshire Leisure, as providers of sporting and leisure facilities are well aware of the wide variety of activities people are enthusiastically taking part in.
“Our role in delivering a first-class arts and culture service also supports the bid for City of Culture status.
“We’re big supporters of the Paisley City of Culture bid and we’ll do all we can to persuade the powers that be that the town deserves that accolade.”

Renfrewshire Council launched the Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021 campaign to capitalise on their long term regeneration plans for the town – such as the £56.7m flagship museum project and £200m investment in the town centre as part of Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “It’s fantastic that Renfrewshire Leisure has publically declared their backing for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
“RLL offer significant support to Paisley’s bid with a packed cultural programme that builds upon Paisley’s contemporary cultural scene, taking place in some of Paisley’s magnificent venues – such as thought-provoking exhibitions in Paisley Museum and spectacular performances in Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall.
“Paisley 2021 has already been a journey of self discovery for Paisley and Renfrewshire – the town is realising its ambitions, its self confidence and the profound relationship between culture, health and wellbeing – and that’s thanks to our diverse cultural programme.

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Renfrewshire Council launches economic action plan with consultation period

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Local people and businesses are being encouraged to provide their views on a Renfrewshire Council strategy which sets out its plans for the economic regeneration of the region.

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Cindy Robb (InCube), Alasdair Morrison (Head of Regeneration, Renfrewshire Council) and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan

Launched today (Monday 17 October), the Renfrewshire Economic Framework (REF) is accompanied by a consultation period, which will culminate with public events at Paisley Town Hall on Thursday 3 November and Wednesday 9 November.

The REF is a two year strategy which aims to take advantage of the region’s huge potential and significant role in the development and growth of the wider Glasgow City Region and Scottish economies, to build a better Renfrewshire for all.

The REF sets out a clear strategy for establishing the region as an attractive place to live, work and visit, emphasising that Renfrewshire is open for business. It contains 10 near term strategic priorities which will create more and better jobs through supporting growing businesses, attracting new investment and ensuring the foundations are in place to sustain that growth in the long term.

Renfrewshire Council leader, Mark Macmillan, said: “Renfrewshire is a region with huge potential which also faces significant challenges, including areas of deprivation and increasing pressure on public services as Scottish Government budgets are reduced.

“However, we have the means to help overcome these challenges and are ambitious about how we can go about tackling poverty, raising attainment, and regenerating our town centres. We are committed to creating a fairer, more inclusive place where all our people, communities and businesses thrive.”

Linking with existing Council initiatives, including the £274m investment in Renfrewshire’s three City Deal projects and Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021, the Economic Framework provides a clear sense of direction for achieving the creation of a stronger and more vibrant economy.

The Economic Framework’s 10 near term strategic priorities are:

  • Creation of a Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel
  • Accelerating development of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area
  • Meeting housing needs and aspirations
  • Regenerating and investing in Paisley Town Centre
  • Developing and investing in our cultural and heritage assets
  • Promotion of Renfrewshire
  • Tackling disadvantage, targeting deprivation and supporting people
  • Skills escalation and development
  • Strengthening transport infrastructure
  • Outward looking – connecting with the Glasgow City Region

Renfrewshire Council is also consulting on the Paisley Town Centre – 10 Year Action Plan, a component of the REF. This identifies four activity areas which will help to reinvigorate Paisley and create a Town Centre which works better for all of Renfrewshire.

Those four areas are the: Gilmour Street Gateway, High Street and UWS Campus, Abbey and River Precinct, Improving Connections (in to the Town Centre). It is intended that this will build on the success of the culture and heritage strategies to establish Paisley’s position and reputation as an innovative and exciting destination for local people, visitors and businesses.

The consultation period for both the REF and Paisley Town Centre Action Plan which began on Monday 17 October will culminate with a public engagement event at Paisley Town Hall, on Thursday 3 November (from 11.30am to 2.30pm) and Wednesday 9 November (from 5.30pm to 7.30pm). This will allow the public to hear first-hand about the proposals and their associated benefits, while also providing the opportunity to give feedback.

The consultation period ends on Thursday 10 November.

That feedback can also be provided by completing the Council’s short survey at:  www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

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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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Paisley gives warm welcome to Coventry’s The Selecter


Paisley gig-goers gave a rapturous reception to a trailblazing musical export of one of the town’s UK City of Culture bid rivals.


The Selecter – who emerged from Coventry to be one of the most successful ska bands from the two-tone era in the 1970s – played a packed-out Paisley Town Hall at the weekend.

Paisley and Coventry are both bidding for UK City of Culture 2021, and are united through their musical roots.

In the 70s both Paisley and Coventry provided the backdrop to two of the UK’s most noted youth subcultures, which influenced music, fashion and politics.


Paisley became a centre for the west of Scotland punk scene following a ban on punk bands playing in Glasgow, while Coventry was noted for the ska revival movement and The Selecter’s politically-themed lyrics and diverse line-up.

The Selecter were supported by local band Dogtooth and DJ Kurtis Whitelock as part of organiser’s LNP Promotions’ commitment to providing young people with opportunities to play with bigger bands when they come to town.

The UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport started the UK City of Culture competition to build on the success of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits.

Paisley’s bid aims to transform the town – Scotland’s largest – by using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Last month, communities in Ferguslie Park were once again listed as the most deprived in Scotland following release of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016 statistics, reinforcing the drive for the UK City of Culture title in 2021.

Coventry is also looking to change perceptions of a city that has had to reinvent itself and is now one of the most diverse cities in modern Britain. Its first radical was Lady Godiva while the city gave birth to 2-Tone movement and Theatre in Education.

The Selecter is fronted by the iconic Pauline Black and recently headlined three UK tours and recorded three studio albums – with the latest album Subculture receiving critical acclaim. After playing in Paisley, The Selecter will head to America before finishing the tour in their home city.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “Paisley is a town of music and musical talent – Paolo Nutini, Gerry Rafferty among others – so it was no wonder that the town hall was packed for this fantastic gig.

“The Selecter’s home city is Coventry and it was brilliant that they talked openly about both bids, showing that while this is a competition, there is also friendship.

“I wish The Selecter all the very best on their American tour before hosting the last gig of that tour in Coventry.”

Gary Kerr of LNP Promotions said: “Friday was an amazing day. We are so fortunate to spend time with wonderful people and top class performers.

“When artists of the calibre of The Selecter come to Paisley, the people come out to support them. We are building on recent success and hope to attract even more bands and performers to Paisley. When we are able to, we’ll give young people an opportunity to share the stage.

“We were delighted that The Selecter agreed that Kurtis and Dogtooth supported them. Pauline and all the band were really supportive on the night, going out of their way to offer advice and encouragement. Most encouraging thing for us is the impact our events are having on the people and local economy, Paisley was alive and vibrant.

“It just highlights the impact arts and culture can have on people. On Friday, Paisley was full of happy people, a busy and vibrant town, fantastic. Both myself and Tommy are very grateful for everyone’s support.”

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is looking forward to working with other bidding cities to share our culture and showcase all of our destinations. Our recent event, Atomic at Coventry Cathedral, featured Scottish band Mogwai along with Coventry born film-maker Mark Cousins.

“Pauline Black and The Selecter are a wonderful example of Coventry’s diversity and its role in bringing elements of sub-culture into the mainstream.”

UK City of Culture bids are expected to be lodged with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in spring 2017.

Information on both Paisley 2021 and Coventry 2021 can be found on their websites  www.Paisley2021.co.uk and www.Coventry2021.co.uk.

Photo credit John McCarney Photography www.johnmccarney.com

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Paisley Town Centre from the eye of a drone

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Paisley Pirates – Team of the Year

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are celebrating after the club picked up the prestigious “Team of the Year” trophy in the annual Renfrewshire Community Sports Award ceremony held in a packed Paisley Town Hall on Friday night.

paisley pirates

With representatives attending from all the major local clubs within their respective sports in the Renfrewshire area, Pirates made the final three in the “Team of the Year” category before beating off strong competition from Kelburne Hockey Club and the Shito-Kai Karate Club, to be voted into top spot by the panel of judges.

Delighted coach Ian Turley, who collected the trophy on behalf of the club, thanked the judges for their vote, while paying tribute to everyone within the club who had contributed to a huge team effort both on and off the ice, while the trophy will shortly go on display in the Pirates’ trophy cabinet at Braehead Arena. He commented, “You realise you have achieved something when you see the quality and commitment of clubs and individuals  in this area to their respective sports, so to win this award is something very special.”

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Cropped World 4k videos Paisleysurrounding areas

Paisley abbey-4k
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