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Paisley First Winterfest

Love Paisley? Love Christmas!

Paisley First WinterFest has arrived in Paisley town centre to help you get in the festive mood this Christmas!

In association with M&D events, this Christmas spectacular will run daily in the town until Christmas Eve!

Get your skates on for our outdoor ice rink just under the Piazza Car Park.

See Paisley in a whole new way with the Paisley panoramic Sky Swing or take part in our free interactive Nutcracker trail for children with a chance to win WinterFest prizes!

Take a browse through the continental style Christmas market, or pick up your free Paisley Guide to Christmas – we’ve got your Christmas shopping all wrapped up!

PA postcode? Then get 20% off ice rink prices at the ticket office when you show proof of your address!

And once you have had some fun and ticked off your Christmas shopping list, Paisley has plenty of great places for food and drink when you need to rest your weary feet!

Paisley also has an array of hair and beauty salons to help you look your best for those Christmas parties, nights out with friends and the big day itself!

Paisley First is also holding a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “This will be a great event to showcase everything that Paisley has to offer during the festive season.

“There is so much to see and do in the town already and this will help cement the town’s reputation as a visitor destination.

“We will also be running a Christmas retail campaign; when it comes to festive shopping we have a lot of fantastic independent retailers as well as national chains throughout the town centre.

“And after hitting the shops and enjoying the Christmas entertainment, visitors can take advantage of our many cafes, restaurants and bars.

“This year, Paisley will have Christmas all wrapped up.”

The event is a great showcase for the town as Paisley enters the final straight in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021 and will wrap up Paisley’s winter season, which has already seen over 50,000 people enjoy events in the town.

M&D’s Events Director, Douglas Taylor, said: “Paisley already has a rich cultural scene and this type of Christmas event is an ideal addition to the town.

“We are working with Paisley First to ensure this event will be a great attraction for the local community, who will be eligible for discounted rates, as well as visitors from further afield.”

Ian added: “We believe the continental style market will really complement the existing Christmas shopping available in the town and we are also hoping some of the local traders will get involved too.”

The Nutcracker Trail will see visitors collect special booklets and complete the trail for a chance to win a special WinterFest prize! For more details on our Nutcracker Trail click HERE

Plus Santa’s reindeer helpers will be coming to Paisley on the afternoons of Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th, Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd December – come and get a selfie with Rudolph!

Heading to Paisley for WinterFest?

Check out our parking map in advance!

As well as plenty of parking facilities, there are also great public transport links…

You can get a train from Glasgow Central train station to Paisley Gilmour Street train station which will bring you straight to County Square, just minutes away from the ice rink!

Plus buses from Glasgow City Centre include the McGill’s 38 bus and First Bus No.9.

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Paisley UK City of Culture bid helps Renfrewshire to 25% visitor increase

New figures show visitors to Renfrewshire rose by 25% in 2016 – with the news hailed as proof Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid boosted the town.

Paisley missed out on the cultural title last week after a two-year campaign – but the stats, contained within a new masterplan aimed at turning the area into one of Scotland’s key tourist destinations – show the positive impact the bid had.

The sharp rise – with 1.7m visitors last year – means Renfrewshire increased its visitors at a faster rate than other areas with the Glasgow region.

The new Renfrewshire Visitor Plan aims to build on that, setting a series of actions aimed at bringing an extra 590,000 day visitors to Renfrewshire by 2020.

The report – rubber-stamped by members of Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board – includes the following key achievements:

– a new destination brand and website will be launched in early 2018, having been developed in consultation with local people and leaders across Renfrewshire;

– Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 campaign took awareness of what the area has to offer to new levels – with a media reach of 277 million people, including visits by foreign journalists;

– more than 1.1m people attended events or festivals in Renfrewshire over the past five years, with numbers growing by 25% and 23% in 2016 and 2017. This year saw a third of attendees from outwith Renfrewshire, a 93% satisfaction rate, and £1.3m pumped into the local economy;

– new partnerships have been developed with regional and national agencies and detailed work has taken place to better understand the area’s target market;

And key actions listed to help take the area’s visitor economy forward over the next three years include:

– expanding the area’s events programme, with Renfrewshire already due to host the British Pipe Band Championships each year until 2021, and the Royal National Mod in 2021 or 2022, growing existing events such as the Halloween festival and The Spree, and bidding for new events;

– targeting Renfrewshire’s unique cultural and heritage assets to potential visitors, and working with partners to make sure Renfrewshire’s offer is included in national campaigns;

– supporting a growth in new accommodation, working with transport agencies to make it easier to get here and get around, and working with partners to share data, knowledge and training;

Councillor Iain Nicolson, chair of Renfrewshire Council Leadership Board said: “Our disappointment at missing out on the UK City of Culture 2021 title was eased by the knowledge the area is in a stronger position for having bid.

“The new Renfrewshire Visitor Plan shows work to build a new visitor economy is already well under way and gives a clear plan for how the public and private sectors can work together to build on that.

“There’s no question Paisley and Renfrewshire have had their challenges in recent years – but we can address that by promoting the things that set us apart to bring new footfall into our town centres.

“The Paisley 2021 bid was part of a wider plan to do that – the area’s profile has perhaps never been better or higher and awareness of our unique cultural and heritage assets has moved to new levels.

“The area was once the centre of a global industry and the legacy of that is still around us in our buildings and museum collections – while the outlying areas of Renfrewshire offer a wide range of historical gems and great outdoor days out.

“For Renfrewshire to have already recorded a 25% increase in both visitors and event attendees in 2016 shows the extent to which the bid has already delivered results.

“That work was always going to continue regardless of the outcome of the 2021 bid – we now have a great platform on which to build.”

Paisley’s work has also been endorsed the head of Scotland’s tourism authority, with Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland adding: “While it is disappointing Paisley has not been named the 2021 UK City of Culture there is still much to be positive about.

“The bid has transformed Paisley’s reputation, and now Scotland, the UK and the world are all becoming more aware of its fantastic cultural offering.

“2017 saw the town host world-class events like The Spree and Weave Festival, while we can look forward to The Royal National Mòd and the British Pipe Band Championships next year.

“I’d like to say a massive well done to everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to showcase the town’s wonderful cultural offering.

“This is just the beginning of Paisley’s transformation and I look forward to the town’s continued development and all the wonderful events and activities that will come with it.”

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SNP Funding Boosts Teacher Numbers Across Paisley

MSP Praises Education Commitment In Face Of Tory, Labour And Lib Dem Opposition

SNP Government education funding has boosted teacher numbers across Renfrewshire – part of an increase of 543 teachers across Scotland – as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

Teacher numbers in Renfrewshire have risen from 1,633 to 1,656 – while the number across Scotland has increased substantially to 51,513 – 543 more than last year, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers being funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, money that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems voted against.

There has also been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio across Scotland, while skills in reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy are strong – with the proportion of S3 pupils achieving Curriculum for Excellence Third Level or better being between 88% and 91% for each skillset.

Commenting, George said:

“These figures prove that the SNP Government’s approach is working for schools across Paisley and throughout Scotland.

“Despite Tory, Labour and Lib Dem opposition, the SNP is delivering funding aimed at increasing teacher numbers and cutting the attainment gap – and this is already bearing fruit.

“We now have 23 more teachers in Renfrewshire than we did this time last year, and an additional 543 across Scotland. With this record of delivery, it is no surprise that pupils are performing strongly across reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy.

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a key priority of this parliament – and these latest statistics show that our efforts are making progress on this, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers across Scotland being funded by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

“It is important that we don’t get complacent and keep working to improve education in Scotland – but given the clear progress that has been made, it would be good to see the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems dropping their political opposition and getting behind our positive efforts to support our young people across Paisley.”

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Six key sectors to a thriving Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire businesses are forming specialist teams to grow six key sectors of the local economy.

RDC Business Panel UWS 28.8.17

Members of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel – which brings together the region’s business and education experts – have identified the six target areas of culture, health and childcare, manufacturing, skills, tourism and transport.

Now plans are in place to create six groups who will meet in January as they formulate specific strategies for each area of emphasis.

The Leadership Panel was established in the summer to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success. Its membership is drawn from companies large and small across the area together with representatives from the public sector, further and higher education and national agencies.

Its first task is to support the development of a long-term economic strategy for Renfrewshire from 2018-2035 and the sector specific groups will play a key role.

Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland and Chair of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel said: “This panel is about taking action and about each organisation recognising its responsibility to develop Renfrewshire’s economic potential.

“These teams will focus on areas we know are hugely important to Renfrewshire’s economic health and will ensure people with the right knowledge and expertise play their part in accelerating the area’s economic fortunes.”

These latest developments come as Councillors on the Leadership Board today (Tuesday 12 December, 2017) approved a new Renfrewshire Economic Profile, providing bitesize data on how the local economy is faring.

The six-monthly snapshot will be shared online and give councillors a handy tool to track local progress.

The example November 2017 profile shows Renfrewshire’s employment rate at 74.7 per cent, outstripping the Glasgow City Region and higher than the Scottish average.

It also shows a five per cent unemployment rate, again bettering the national position, with average weekly earnings £14 up on the average Scot.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to putting the measures in place which attract new jobs and opportunities to Renfrewshire. The Economic Leadership Panel provides vital strategic direction and the formation of these new teams are most welcome to devise specific plans for these six hugely important sectors to the Renfrewshire economy.

“It is only through partnership working that we can achieve our collective goals and at the same time having this regular profile of our economic performance enables us to make the strategic directions to deliver a thriving Renfrewshire.”

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Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.

Aspiring musicians from a variety of Renfrewshire schools utilised the stunning acoustics of the historic venue to showcase their talents and musicianship to the local community.

The performance began with the violins and cellos of the Renfrewshire Schools String Ensemble’s as they performed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’.

This was followed by a moving performance of Africca and Tron Legacy by the assorted battery of the Schools Percussion Ensemble, which incorporated an array of instruments including timpani, drums, marimba, tubular bells and more.

The Senior Concert band then played a range of Gershwin Classics, as well as music from Shrek, leaving the Abbey reverberating with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

Culture and tradition then enveloped the Abbey as the Feis Phaislig Choir opened the second half with a selection of Gaelic songs.

The Senior Ceilidh Band had the audience tapping along as they concluded the concert with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’, featuring Sorcha Alcorn Stewart on vocals.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We have a wealth of aspiring musicians in Renfrewshire and it’s fantastic to see our pupils bring their talents together to put on such an extraordinary performance.

“It is vital that we encourage our young people to express themselves musically which is why we committed to offering free music tuition to our school pupils, allowing them the opportunity to find their talent from an early age.

“We want our pupils to aim high and achieve their dreams and what better inspiration than performing in the same venue as our home-grown success story Paolo Nutini did so recently.”

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Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s business community has welcomed the news that Scotland’s National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established in Renfrewshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Monday 11 December) announced the industry-led institute will be built on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport, and will become the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing innovation district in Renfrewshire.

A collaborative project between the Scottish Government and national skills and enterprise agencies together with the University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council, the Institute will bring together skills, expertise, research and innovation to attract investment and develop Scotland into a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, Audrey Cumberford, feels the new institute will allow Renfrewshire to realise its economic potential.

She said: “Choosing Renfrewshire as the base for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a clear indication of the area’s potential to be a leading light in the global manufacturing sector.

“The levels of private investment this could bring to Renfrewshire cannot be underestimated and this will provide a substantial boost to the area’s economic growth.

“The investment, combined with the significant improvement to infrastructure in the area, will be a key contributor in making Renfrewshire a more attractive, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, has also welcomed the announcement citing the promise of thousands of new jobs coming into the area.

He said: “It is fantastic that Renfrewshire has been chosen as the home for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and it is recognition of our growing position within the international manufacturing sector.

“Thousands of highly-skilled jobs are set to be created across the next 20 years in a boost to employment across the area, while also providing an opportunity to inspire young people into an exciting and rewarding career within the industry.

“New and existing businesses in the area will feel the benefit of the increase in skilled workers in Renfrewshire, as well as the expertise and technological advances the institute brings, as it aims to allow Scotland to compete globally in manufacturing.”

The announcement builds on the recent development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, set to open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew.

The centre will develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

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First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture  bid will lead to ’ lasting benefit’ for the town.

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall Lit in anticipation of the City of Culture 2021 result. 7.12.17

The First Minister has led an outpouring of good wishes for the town with the close of the competition.

Paisley was the sole Scottish place on the shortlist which included Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, who took the title, announced live on BBC’s The One Show in front of a live TV audience of millions.

The contest saw Paisley involve 34,000 residents in the bid across a two year journey to change the town’s future for the better using the town’s unique culture and heritage story.
The First Minister said: “Everyone involved in the Paisley bid, from bid director Jean Cameron to the many people who have been involved
formally and informally over the last two years, can be rightly proud of their efforts.
“To gather the support of businesses, cultural and community groups, and secure the involvement of more than 30,000 people is a tremendous achievement.
“Although they will naturally be disappointed at the result, I believe the bid will lead to lasting benefits for Paisley, in terms of its profile and cultural life, and that is what we should focus on today.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson also sent her best wishes to the town and praised the bid.
She said: “Everyone involved should feel a great deal of pride in the way they put forward such a positive case. It show Paisley is a place on the up.”
She added that the bid means the town will continue to be a ‘magnet for jobs and investment.
A wealth of other political and community voices also sent supportive message to the town.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop  tweeted: “Paisley2021 and all Buddies have made us all proud of
Paisley- you have unleashed a cultural and  creative energy which will propel you on.”
Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell said: “Massive commiserations to Paisley 2021 but you’ve achieved so much during the bid and it will be a springboard for the future. You are a credit to Scotland.”
The University of Glasgow added its voice on social media to tweet: “So disappointed for neighbours Paisley 2021 missing out on being named UK City of Culture2021 – congratulations to Coventry 2021.”
Artist Matt Baker said: “Thank you Paisley 2021 you have held a mirror up to all that is brilliant about Scottish culture and utterly redefined the way the country now sees you.”
Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard tweeted: “Huge commiserations to all the Buddies and the Paisley 2021 team who worked so hard to be crowned City of Culture 2021.
“The passion and inspiration shown by all involved has been fantastic and you should all be proud.”
The Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ros Kerslake, said: “There has been an incredible level of support and passion from across communities – a testament to how special the town is and how excited people are for its future.
“Heritage is of course a key part of what makes Paisley unique and we look forward to continuing to invest money raised by National Lottery players into projects across the town.”
Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outcome is of course disappointing but we are still in a great position compared to where we were two years ago. Our public and private sector partnerships are far stronger and there’s so much goodwill and momentum created by the bidding process.  This is a great opportunity to capitalise on that enthusiasm and renewed confidence for the good of the visitor economy and tourism, as well as the town centre economy.
“The key thing is to maximise that opportunity and take advantage of where we’re at now through the bidding process.”
Sharon McAulay from the Paisley-based STAR Project said: “What an amazing journey we’ve had! Yes we’re gutted we didn’t win but we’re also proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Paisley’s journey is far from over. We’ll continue to be brilliant, creative, and full of potential and our plans to transform our town will also continue. Paisley has great things ahead and my belief in what we can achieve together remains steadfast and true. “
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Derek Mackay MSP Comments – UK City of Culture 2021 Result

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Pinnacle Training drive for Foodbank donations

Pinnacle Training offer Training Courses in various sectors, as well as professional services and freelance staff. Pinnacle Training are campaigning hard for the Renfrewshire Foodbank as well as other causes over the festive period.

Here is the GoFundMe link for our fundraising for Renfrewshire Foodbank

We are now taking donations, be it cash or food!
Cash and food will be donated to Renfrewshire Foodbank!

If anyone wishes to donate toys/gifts, Paisley Corps – The Salvation Army will be accepting unwrapped gifts (full details here: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/christmas-present-appeal )
As will the Paisley Daily Express: https://www.facebook.com/paisleydailyexpress/photos/a.330870066929585.103750.309522389064353/1999125730104002/?type=3&theater

If anyone wishes to donate food, we will be taking food donations as well the foodbank, suggestions include:

· Tinned Potatoes
· Tinned Tomatoes
· UHT Milk
· Litre Cartons Juice
· Tinned fruit
· Tinned rice/custard
· Breakfast Cereal
· Jams/spreads
· Coffee/Tea (small)
· Dried Rice
· Tinned spaghetti/ravioli
· Noodles/Cup A Soups/Snacks
· Super noodles/Pasta ‘N’ Sauce
· Strong Carrier Bags
· Toiletries
· Household cleaning
· Tinned vegetable
· Tinned meat/fish

Christmas foods such as selection boxes, biscuit boxes, stuffing mix boxes, instant mash, gravy mix, etc must be in by the first week of December in order to distribute. Anything else can be donated up until 22nd December.

We are also hosting a Paediatric First Aid Course with all proceeds going to Renfrewshire Foodbank. This is a fully certified accredited course and with it being for charity, there will be a chance to win a bottle of something festive and maybe a game or two! Details here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PinnacleTraining/events/?ref=page_internal

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St Mirren continue to fly the flag for the town’s UK City of Culture bid at Paisley 2021 Stadium

St Mirren FC will continue to fly the flag for Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid with an extension to a deal to keep its stadium name in place until the end of May 2018.

If the town takes title there will be an option to extend the sponsorship to retain the name of the Paisley 2021 Stadium until May 2022.

The news is announced as the club erected new signage outside the stadium and is an extension of the original two year two-year sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal struck with Renfrewshire Council in November 2015.

The venue was renamed from St Mirren Park to mark Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Paisley is shortlisted for the title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced tomorrow evening by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which organised the competition.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “St Mirren are at the heart of the community and we are delighted to have their continued support. Paisley’s bid journey has been a positive one and will continue no matter what the outcome.

“The Paisley 2021 stadium forms part of this legacy and keeps the name going.”

St Mirren Director Tony Fitzpatrick said: “The fortunes of the town and the club are interlinked and we are delighted to continue with our support of Paisley 2021.

“A winning year of culture would be great for both the town and the club.

“With the UK City of Culture decision imminent, we wish Paisley the very best of luck in its bid for the title.”