Hunterhill Paisley News

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Paisley 2021 bid marked with mass Baker Street sax performance in Gerry Rafferty home town

Paisley marked the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 in spectacular style today – with a mass outdoor rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s classic Baker Street.

Around 25 saxophonists were joined a by a live band and a crowd of hundreds on the town’s High Street for a special performance of the Paisley-born singer’s iconic worldwide hit, in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

The Baker Street performance was the brainchild of Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud and Proud, and delivered in partnership with the Paisley 2021 bid team and backed by youth theatre group PACE.

The event was part of an action-packed weekend for the town – with Abbey Close hosting the third annual Paisley Food Festival, with thousands of visitors enjoying street food from some of the country’s finest traders.

The event also featured cooking demos from BBC Masterchef – The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, free workshops for kids, and live entertainment from acts including The Voice finalists Into the Ark and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth.

And Paisley Town Hall was hosting the final day of the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – the largest real-ale festival in Scotland.

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be lodged with the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport this week, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been a mass movement, with incredible buy-in from the local community.

“That was evident again today, with a wonderful turnout and a great atmosphere at both the Baker Street performance, and the food and beer festivals.

“One of the key things our bid will celebrate is the incredible wealth of talent produced by this town, and Gerry Rafferty is one of the best examples of that – so this was a fantastic way to mark the bid submission later this week.”

Gerry’s daughter Martha added: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.”

The UK Government is expected to announce a shortlist of bidding places over the summer, and the winner by the end of the year.

For more information, visit paisley2021.co.uk

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Paisley to honour Baker Street singer with mass sax solo

Paisley will honour one of its most famous sons with a mass outdoor rendition of the iconic saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street this weekend.

The musical moment has been organised by local promoter Tommy McGrory of Loud ‘n’ Proud as a tribute to the late singer in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

It also helps mark the send-off of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – due to be lodged with the UK Government next week – with the event part-funded by the 2021 bid team.

The sax solo will take place at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Saturday and will see professional musicians – including a live band – joined by local talent.

And Gerry’s daughter Martha said: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

“To have so many people playing the Baker Street solo together in the town centre is a unique idea and I am sure it will make a great spectacle. Let’s hope they’re all in tune! I am looking forward to hearing it.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “This event is a tribute to one of Paisley’s best musical exports and a song known the world over.

“As well as marking what would have been Gerry’s birthday it’s also a great way to shine a spotlight on the town as we prepare to submit the bid, which will feature Paisley’s incredible musical legacy.”

Tommy McGrory added: “We’ve had phenomenal interest in this ever since we revealed the plans a few days ago – it is shaping up to be a must-see moment.

“We have in excess of 30 people lined up to take part but if any other saxophone players are interested in joining us, they can contact me through Loud ‘n’ Proud on 0141 840 1090.”

The coming weekend will be a busy one for Paisley, with Saturday seeing the town host the third annual Paisley Food Festival in Abbey Close, with street-food traders from across the country, free live entertainment and cookery demos.

This weekend will also see Renfrewshire CAMRA’s 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival in Paisley Town Hall, while local business improvement district Paisley First are running Paisley Restaurant Week, with discount deals available at local eateries.

For more information on these events and the bid itself, visit paisley2021.co.uk

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Pipe bands from across the world set to battle it out to be named Britain’s best

Paisley is set to welcome competitors from as far as Canada and Denmark as the top pipe bands in the world aim to be crowned British champions.

photos courtesy of Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
07792445 437
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2016.

On Saturday 20 May, over 4,000 pipers and drummers will descend on the St James Playing Fields for the second year in succession following a fantastic competition last year which saw Inverary and District take home the Grade 1 prize.

They’ll face stiff competition from all over the world this year however as bands from Canada, Ireland and Northern Ireland join Scotland’s finest in trying to take home the accolade of Britain’s best.

From 10am, 145 bands will take to the competition arena and look to impress the judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) in 11 different categories.

After the final band performs- at around 5:30pm- the prize giving will take place before all bands join the final march-past which will close the competition.

The free-to-attend event will also feature a delicious food village, a children’s entertainment zone, the Slug in a Bottle craft market and much more.

RSPBA Chief Executive, Ian Embelton, said: “After the success of last year’s Championships we are all looking forward to an even more exciting event this year.

“Bands have entered in great numbers and everything is in place for a great day out for all the family’

The Championships form part of a series of events taking place across Renfrewshire which are helping to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said: “It is fantastic to see the Championships return to Paisley after such a successful event last year.

“I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to see some of the world’s foremost pipers competing in one of the biggest dates in world piping and enjoy the marvellous entertainment being provided on the day.

“The sight of thousands of pipers and supporters descending on the town is not only a boost for local traders, but also enhances our bid to be named UK City of Culture as we again showcase our ability to hold large-scale events in the area.

“The winning bidder would host a number of prestigious events in 2021 and we’re determined to give Paisley the best chance of a successful bid as we look to bring lasting social and economic change to the area.”

Designated event parking will be at West College Scotland, Paisley Grammar School and Castlehead High School.

Visitors should be aware there will be no on-site parking at the St James Playing Fields for the public – this will be for pipe band coaches and event officials only.

Free shuttle buses will run directly to the event site throughout the day from West College Scotland and Paisley Gilmour Street station. Full details are at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

The full running order for the day, showing all bands, grades and timings, is now available at www.rspba.org

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Public will consider Paisley West End masterplan

The public will have their say on a new masterplan to regenerate the West End of Paisley.

Councillors agreed today (Thursday 20 April) that the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan should move to public consultation in June 2017.

Extensive engagement will now begin with tenants, residents, businesses, landowners and all other interested parties on the masterplan proposals for around 150 homes, providing a mix of private and social housing as well as new commercial units, subject to demand.

The plan covers an area comprising Well Street, Underwood Lane, Clavering Street East, Sutherland Street, Oakshaw Brae and West Brae.

Tenement flats on the east side of Well Street; commercial ground floor properties in the tenement blocks and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East would be demolished as part of the plans.

Clearance of the vacant former University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence and relocation of community growing areas on Sutherland Street – redeveloping these sites for housing – are also included in the proposals.

Residents affected would be supported by the Council to find suitable alternative accommodation and Council officers will also work with affected business owners and tenants to determine their preferences and potentially source available alternative premises which meet their aspirations.

Affected tenants and property owners will be contacted individually by the Council to discuss their thoughts on the proposals, with the option of a face-to-face meeting and an invitation to drop-in consultation events at local community venues.

Meetings are also planned with Paisley West and Central Community Council, Paisley West End Tenants and Residents Association, University of the West of Scotland and private landowners.

Costs to deliver the masterplan are being developed and will be informed through the consultation process and site investigations of the undeveloped land. Scottish Government grant support for the project would be brought forward through Renfrewshire’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), which includes a £10 million provisional allowance.

Comments regarding the proposal for the redevelopment of Well Street and the West End of Paisley:

Councillor Mags MacLaren, SNP Housing Spokesperson, said:

“I welcome this long-awaited proposal as it will result in improved housing within Well Street and the West End of Paisley. “

This proposal has been on the table for years and there is still some way to go before all the funding is secured to enable it to be completed. However, this proposal would see new housing coming into the West End, including using the gap site behind Well Street.”

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP Group Leader, added:

“It’s been a while since the original proposal was put out to Sanctuary Housing to bring forward some details, so it’s good that there is now something in the public domain which residents of Well Street can look at.

“Obviously, I would hope that existing council tenants and businesses would have a higher priority when it came to any new social housing and new business units within the area but in general

“I welcome this long-awaited proposal as it will result in improved housing within Well Street and the West End of Paisley. “This proposal has been on the table for years and there is still some way to go before all the funding is secured to enable it to be completed. However, this proposal would see new housing coming into the West End, including using the gap site behind Well Street.” Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP Group Leader, added: “It’s been a while since the original proposal was put out to Sanctuary Housing to bring forward some details, so it’s good that there is now something in the public domain which residents of Well Street can look at. “Obviously, I would hope that existing council tenants and businesses would have a higher priority when it came to any new social housing and new business units within the area but in general  terms the plans look promising.”

Kevin McNeillie-Welsh, the secretary of Paisley West Tenants and Residents Association, said:

“The redevelopment of Well Street is a major issue for us and we have been pressing the housing department to bring forward their proposals. I’m glad they’ve eventually done so as it will now give our members a chance to add their voice to the consultation process.”

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Paisley 2021 bid gets green light from councillors

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been given the green light by councillors ahead of it being lodged with the UK Government next week.

 

Elected members were today given a preview of the contents of the bid report and gave unanimous cross-party approval for the council – as the lead agency in the Paisley 2021 partnership – to submit it on behalf of the town.

The 30-page document answers a series of questions set by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the economic and social impact the title will have on the town, Paisley’s outline 2021 programme, and its ability to host the title.

Paisley is bidding for the prestigious title as part of wider plans to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

The bid deadline is Friday 28 April and the timetable published by DCMS says the 11 bidders can expect to find out in June if they have made the shortlist.

Those places will be expected to lodge a more detailed second-stage bid, with the winner expected to be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The 18 months since the bid was launched have already been incredibly positive for the town and it has been a pleasure to be a part of.

“It has been a real grassroots movement, with more than 30,000 people taking part in the conversation around the bid and helping us shape the contents, and I want to thank everybody who contributed – your voices are in this bid.

“The bid has raised awareness of everything Paisley has to offer, changing negative perceptions of the town and creating a new sense of self-confidence.

“The bid is just one part of a wider set of plans aimed at using events, culture and heritage to bring new footfall and tourism to the town, and build a new type of town centre economy based around creative industry.

“But the impact of winning the title would be on another level – a year of major international events and huge numbers of visitors in 2021, thousands of new jobs, major investment in infrastructure and a lasting economic and social legacy.

“The work to prepare the bid has been a real partnership effort, with great contributions from a wide range of different groups all working to a common goal.

“Approval from councillors was the last milestone on this stage of the journey before the bid is submitted next week – and we know we have one which will show the judges how much Paisley wants and needs the title and is ready to deliver it.”

For more information, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Free Home Energy Advice

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Top food and drink producers to attend Paisley Food Festival

The crème de la crème of Scotland’s food and drink producers will attend Paisley’s food fiesta this weekend.

Paisley Food Festival
Darrel Douglas from the Rum Shack

Visitors will be able to sample tasty treats from more than 30 street food traders and producers at the free Paisley Food Festival this Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12 to 7pm.

Paisley Food Festival

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 which will be submitted at the end of the month.

The event is running alongside Scotland’s largest beer and ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, which is run by Renfrewshire CAMRA, launched earlier this week and will be at Paisley Town Hall until Saturday 22 April.

Paisley Food Festival

The event has a wide selection of producers serving hand reared produce, including The Kitchen Farmer from Perthshire with their gourmet lamb burgers, and outdoor reared pork and apple burgers from Duntarrin Farm in Argyll. In addition Alba Seafood will be showcasing their delicious fresh smoked seafood and fishcakes while Geraldo’s of Largs will be offering the best in Scottish craft spirits to enjoy at home. For those with a sweet tooth there are exquisite French patisseries from les Plaisirs d’Odette and scrumptious cakes from the Three Sisters Bake.

Serena Durante, from Porrelli, said: This is the first time Porrelli has taken part in the festival and we’re really excited to serve our delicious Churros, it is something new that complements our ice cream well, and we know the visitors will love it! It’s a great event.”

Matthew Stevenson from Linburn’s Farm, said: “Some of the best food in Scotland is made right here in Renfrewshire and the festival gives us a chance to celebrate that. It also gives people the opportunity to try new foods from producers and traders from further afield.

“We are looking forward to serving up our famous Paisley Buddie burger which we’re sure will be popular on the day.”

David Cassidy, of Renfrewshire CAMRA, added: “We are all looking forward to this year’s beer festival, and the organisers are buzzing.

“The selection of beers will be bigger than ever – we have more than 200 real ales and another 100 or so beers at the foreign beer bar.

“We are also delighted to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of St Mirren’s 1987 cup win as part of our own 30th anniversary – many of the organisers are St Mirren fans so it’s great to be able to do that.”

Also confirmed to attend the event are Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, who will host a series of cooking demonstrations, and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs. The Voice finalists Into the Ark are also confirmed as the headline music act for the event performing their first gig since appearing on the show.

Also taking place this week is Paisley Restaurant Week which is being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First and will be running until 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre including Cardosi’s, Hamishes Hoose and Saporito Restaurants.

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WCS Paisley Dance lecturer Rosina Bonsu named among ten “Outstanding Women of Scotland”

A West College Scotland dance lecturer is one of just ten women named among the 2017 “Outstanding Women of Scotland”.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Paisley-based Rosina Bonsu was awarded the prestigious nomination by the Saltire Society for her contribution to Scottish life. She joins First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Professor Dame Sue Black and the singer Horse Macdonald among the inductees.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Born in Ghana, Rosina moved to London when she was seven years old. She trained to become a school teacher before becoming a dance artist at the London Contemporary Dance School. She was a standout in her field and in 1984 moved to Glasgow to take up the position of Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet’s “Steps Out”.

Photo courtesey of Brian Hartley

In 1987, she was the dance artist for Renfrewshire Dance Project now called Right2Dance, which promotes dance as fun and accessible to all people of all abilities. A decade later Rosina founded Dance House Glasgow to address the lack of provision of professional dancers and performers in Scotland. The project was a tremendous success and the Dance House is today well-established as the regional centre for dance for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Since 2009, Rosina has worked as a lecturer at West College Scotland’s Paisley New Street Campus. She teaches Contemporary dance to students from first to third year. She also teaches dance and movement at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Rosina loves her work at the College, she says: “I can help these young people grow, challenge themselves and travel the distance from where they come to where they dream to be. The level of deprivation in the West of Scotland is high, so that distance is often huge and can be daunting – but I want them to see it’s possible, if they believe in themselves and realise their full potential. I take so much pride when these young people go on and achieve great things, discover the world and their true, talented, selves.”

Rosina knows what it takes to overcome tough challenges. She has recovered from two cancers, eight years ago and then again five years later. She says: “My work on bodies and self-awareness really helped me go through these hardships and not surrender. My yoga practice allowed me to focus my mind and body on what was important and to collect my energies to face adversities.”

Rosina is also a yoga teacher and has run her own studio since 2008.

“I work with bodies – it doesn’t matter if it’s through dance or yoga or anything else. I love this work because it brings honesty and clarity in people. When they learn to work with their body, they become their true selves and can develop their full potential. They can get over the barriers of internal thinking and social conditioning”.

She continues:

“I believe Scottish people really need this. I see huge potential but too many of the young people I work with hide it, they limit themselves, they censor their bodies and personalities. I notice this every day, including with my students at the College. They can take so much criticism without blinking an eye. But give them praise, and they will feel so uncomfortable that some will actually walk out of the room! Too often, people focus on what they can’t do but they ignore what they’re good at. I’m teaching them to change their mind set and focus on their strengths instead.”

Despite her outstanding work for and involvement with the local community, Rosina was genuinely surprised to be nominated for the Saltire Society’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’.

“I really did not expect this and I feel so honoured”, she says.

Rosina was nominated by Sue John, Enterprise Development Manager at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Sue and Rosina met years back when both took part in the development of ‘Women in Profile’, an organisation which aimed to ensure representation of women’s culture during Glasgow’s year as the European City of Culture in 1990. Since then, Rosina has always been a strong supporter of the Glasgow Women’s Library. A few years ago, she contributed to the ‘Women on the Shelf’ fundraising initiative and dedicated a Library shelf to her sister when she passed away.

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Mental Health Awareness Week

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, the Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance (RASA) group are organising a  ‘Walk a Mile’ event on the10 May 2017.


The aim is to raise awareness of Mental Health and to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. The walk is being supported by the national charity See Me and is inspired by Chris Young’s UK wide campaign to end mental health stigma and change the way people think about mental health.

To Register
https://letswalkamile.org/events/walk-a-mile-renfrewshire

Date of Event:
Wednesday 10 May 2017
Assembly Time:
12.00 noon. Walk commences at 12.30pm
Location of event:
Fountain Gardens, Love Street, Paisley, PA3 2DZ (at the fountain)

For further information please contact
bernadette.reilly@renfrewshire.gcsx.gov.uk

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Mall wins gold award

THE team at intu Braehead has been recognised for the way they encourage and train their staff.

From left, intu Braehead’s Laura Oliver, Paul Lucas and Gillian Macdonald with their Investors in People Gold Award cake

The shopping and leisure destination has been accredited with the Gold Investors in People Award.
And a special cake was created and presented to staff to mark the achievement.

The Investors in People scheme encourages and certifies best practice in people management and staff training with a rigorous assessment of a company or organisation’s performance.

General manager at intu Braehead, Gary Turnbull said: “Our most important asset is the people who work for us.
“Our on-going aim is to help them develop their abilities and careers to their maximum potential. We put a lot of time and effort into this, as it’s the best investment a company can make.

“Having previously won the Silver Award, we were keen to further improve our management and staff training practices even more and we’re delighted to have achieved that and won the Gold Award.”