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Paolo Nutini wows Paisley crowd with stunning homecoming show

Paisley’s homegrown musical megastar Paolo Nutini tonight played a triumphant homecoming charity gig in the stunning setting of the town’s 850-year-old Abbey.



The eagerly-anticipated and exclusive event was rapturously received by the 550 fans lucky enough to be there – after more than 50,000 entered the ballot for tickets.

The gig was the headline show of Paisley’s annual Spree Festival – this year taking place as the town waits to hear if it will be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 in a few weeks time.

This was Paolo’s only UK gig this year, with favourites including These Streets, Iron Sky and Candy all featuring in the set lasting just over two hours.

Speaking about the show Paolo said: “It was scary biscuits! But I loved it and it’s so good to be home!”

The gig raised in excess of £20,000 for five local charities selected by Paolo himself – the Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, the Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe, and the town’s Syrian refugee children.

All ticket money will be split between the five good causes – topped up by thousands raised after Paolo ran a prize draw for a meet and greet where fans could enter by text message at £1 a ticket.

Lucky fan Mima Craig from West Lothian met the star before the gig, and enjoyed fish and chips from his parents’ takeaway, Castelvecchi, in the town centre.

The gig also saw 100 tickets made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo has been a big supporter of his home town’s ambitions – tonight’s gig was an incredible experience in one of our unique venues and showed the world Paisley knows how to host a party.

“Our bid aims to open up world-class cultural programming to every section of our community and tonight Paolo helped us show how great that could be in 2021.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique story as the home of the world-renowned Paisley Pattern.

The town is the only Scottish place on the final shortlist announced by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the summer – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

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Paisley set to host Royal National Mòd in 2021 or 2022

Paisley will play host to the Royal National Mòd within the next five years, it has been announced.

MOD Torchlight procession.  All images © Warren Media 2013.

As the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021, it was revealed today that it will stage the annual celebration of Gaelic culture that year – if it wins the title, with the Mòd travelling to Perth in 2022.

But if Paisley, which last hosted the prestigious event in 2013, is not named UK City of Culture, one of Paisley or Perth will host in 2021, with the decision made on a point scoring system.

The place which does not host in 2021, will stage the event the following year.

It’s the first time that the Mòd’s organising body, An Comunn Gàidhealach has announced plans for more than a single year, due to the ‘exceptional standard’ of applications by both

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are delighted the Mòd is coming back to Paisley and we look forward to working with our friends at An Comunn to deliver another successful event.

“Paisley’s central location, outstanding transport links and proven record as a major event host will make Gaelic culture accessible to new audiences – our last  Mòd in 2013 saw 8,000 people attend over nine days and a great atmosphere.

“The legacy of that was to strengthen Renfrewshire’s commitment to Gaelic language development – we have since invested in arts programming, and our annual Fèis Phàislig music event has reached around 700 schoolchildren so far.

“Should Paisley be named as UK City of Culture in 2021 that year’s Mòd will form part of an international-class cultural programme – but even if we are waiting another year we will be ready to welcome Gaels from across the world, and delighted to do so.”

In the final day of competitions at this year’s Mòd in Locahber, the area choirs were set to compete in the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine Trophy and Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy at the Nevis Centre.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “The applications to host Mòd 2021 was exceptionally high, and we were particularly impressed by the two bids from Paisley and Perth.

“With each bid offering unique features, we felt it only fair to recognise their strength by offering them both the opportunity to host the Royal National Mòd – one in 2021, and the other in 2022.

“We feel that the chance to host our Royal National Mòd in the UK City of Culture would be too good an opportunity to forego, and we wish our friends in Paisley luck ahead of the final decision on the UK City of Culture title. Equally, we look forward to returning to the lovely city of Perth, in the not too distant future.”

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Young people take simple steps towards positive mental health

Young people are speaking out about positive steps their peers can take to have good mental health.

front row: Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team Lizzie McLean and Laura McAuley, Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, Youth Commission member Jack Vaughan, and Renfrewshire Youth Voice member Adrian McKechnie

Members of the Youth Commission, Renfrewshire Youth Voice, the Youth Forum, LGBT+ youth group and Renfrewshire’s MSYPs took to the streets to showcase the simple ways young people can support their mental health – including walking around the town.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, gets shown the Young Scot website by Renfrewshire Youth Voice member and member of the Youth Commission, Osama Nadeem

Education and Children’s Services Convener of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, met up with the young people at the Young Scot trailer set up in Paisley town centre.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, talks with Renfrewshire Youth Voice and Youth Commission members Adrian McKechnie and Osama Nadeem.

The trailer is a meeting place for young people during the October school holidays to share their opinions on what a youth hub for Renfrewshire would look like as well as what they want to see as part of a year of culture for Paisley.

Youth Commission members Graeme Wilson and Jack Vaughan outside the Young Scot trailer at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre

A major strand of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 is mental health and wellbeing, which is the result of the work of Renfrewshire Youth Voice and the first-ever Youth Assembly held in the area.

While there, Councillor Paterson learned about the #FollowYourFeet social media campaign and the ‘Strolling, Strolling, Strolling Wellbeing Walk’, which has been organised by young people in support of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Graeme Wilson and Amylouise Busby, two of the young people involved in the Youth Commission, said: “There are plenty of simple steps young people can take that will have a profound effect on their mental health, such as taking a walk, meeting up with friends or joining a youth group.

“We know good mental health is important to young people and we wanted to involve all young people in the #FollowYourFeet campaign by asking everyone to post what makes them feel good or what inspires them on social media.”

The #FollowYourFeet social media campaign comes just a few weeks before the Youth Commission will hold a symposium in Renfrewshire Council’s headquarters, Renfrewshire House, on their key findings.

Councillor Paterson said: “Young people have told us that their mental health matters to them and it is vital that we understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Commission Symposium will be a fantastic opportunity for young people to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what everyone can do to ensure that all young people have positive mental health.”

Amylouise added: “Next week, the Youth Commission will be holding a Symposium to answer questions about what we have researched and what decision makers, parents and the community can do to support good mental health in young people. We also know that there is a lot young people can do together and as we prepare to give our evidence on our findings, we want to gather further support from young people in Renfrewshire to show that by following their feet, they can improve their mental health.”

To find out more about the Youth Commission, visit young.scot/renfrewshire.


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Community groups enjoy Spree festival thanks to tickets initiative

Local organisations from across Renfrewshire have enjoyed performances by some of the top names at this year’s Spree festival thanks to a community tickets scheme.

Foxbar Mens Shed meet Dougie MacLean inThe Speigletent at Paisley Spree 18.10.17

The Men’s Shed is among the local groups to benefit with a visit to watch singer songwriter Dougie MacLean’s gig at the Spiegeltent venue, where they also got to meet the man himself.

Dougie MacLean at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

The group sees men of all ages meet weekly in a social setting at the Foxbar Youth Centre where they build bird houses, plant boxes and bird feeders, tend to community allotments and undertake guided walks all over Renfrewshire and beyond.

It was set up by Shelter Scotland’s Foundations First Project, funded by the STV Children’s Appeal and offers a personalised service to support families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to find, keep or improve their home.

Volunteer coordinator Janice MacNamara said: “Coming together at a gig like this makes such a difference to the men. It’s a social thing as some of them don’t have any family, so it’s another night out. Meeting Dougie too was just brilliant, we were chatting away about Paisley.

“Different men of all ages come to our group for different reasons – some come through bereavement because they’ve lost their partner and we also have men who maybe have mental health or addiction issues, though they are all free from drugs and alcohol when they come.

“No questions are asked about anybody, it’s about sharing skills and helping each other and it’s been great for all of them to get together in this way.”

Community group tickets also made available for this year’s Spree festival include 100 given out for Paolo Nutini’s sold out Homecoming gig at Paisley Abbey on Friday October 20 .

Sixty were given to local community groups through local charity Engage, with another 40 distributed to looked after children through Renfrewshire Council’s social work department.

Other groups who benefited across the festival include the Star Project, Paisley and Renfrew YMCAs, Street Stuff and Haven Recycling.

As the Spree continued this week, top comics Tom Urie and Janey Godley teamed up for a special night of music and laughter at the Burger & Keg Live Tent at Paisley Abbey.

Tom Urie at The Burger and Keg Tent at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

Another raft of aspiring musicians including Anton and the Colts, Kieran Sinclair and Friends and Bobby Deans performed at the Danny Kyle Open Stage at the Spiegeltent, while the Spree For All fringe festival hosted live music at a string of venues across the town centre, including at the The Old Swan Inn.

Other upcoming highlights include the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall on Friday, singer songwriter James Grant’s show at Paisley Abbey on Saturday and the RSNO takeover at Paisley Abbey on Tuesday, where talented Renfrewshire school children will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree allows us to take culture to every corner of Renfrewshire.

“The aim of the UK City Culture 2021 bid is to allow us to open the benefits of culture and the arts to all. The community groups tickets initiative at the Spree festival allows us to support local charities and communities in this way and give them to access cultural experiences they would otherwise be unable to.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters and more info can be found at burgerandkeg.co.uk.

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

Details of the Spree for All can be found at its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SpreeForAllPaisley/

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A Paisley business man has organised socks to be donated to homeless people this winter.

Dave Pickard Co-Founder of the London Sock Company has teamed up with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people to supply the socks throughout October.

The initiative, called Sock-tober, is being launched with the London Sock Company.

For every pair of socks sold during the month a special pair of durable socks will be donated to Crisis for the charity to distribute.

Dave Pickard from Paisley, Co-Founder of the London Sock Company said: “As winter and the cold nights draw nearer we are delighted to link up with Crisis and donate a nice warm pair of socks for every pair we sell. We are calling this initiative Sock-tober and we hope to keep homeless people a little warmer.”

Ian Richards, Head of Christmas at Crisis said: “Winter can be an especially difficult time for some of our clients, particularly those who are forced to live on the streets. A good pair of socks can make all the difference. On behalf of everyone at Crisis, I’d like to thank the London Sock Company for their generous donation.”

Latest figures reveal that more than nine thousand people are sleeping rough every night in the UK and figures are predicted to rise.

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Artists greet Spree festival goers with colourful large scale art project

Local artists are putting their own stamp on the Spree Festival with a project to decorate the famous Spiegeltent venue.

Sign writers and a graffiti artist are working on a series of hoardings at County Square.

Artists Rachael Millar and Karina Duncan spruce up The Spree with their amazing hand painted signs around the famous Speigletent Paisley Spree 14th October 2017

Rachel Millar, whose signage work has been championed by Paisley star Paolo Nutini , says  it’s one of the biggest scale projects she’s ever worked on.

Rachel, who also created one of the art works which fronted the official documents for the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid, said: “We’ve made great progress.

“The sheer scale of it was quite hard and it was tricky to put up the big massive bits of paper but we hope people will love the end result.”

This year’s artwork was inspired by circus poster from the 1920s and 1930s and the baroque artwork of the wood and canvas Spiegeltent itself.

Festival goers are being greeted by a seven metre sign reading  ‘Welcome to the Spree’ with another massive hoarding is covered in slogans.

Rachel is assisted by fellow sign writers Karina Duncan and Ciaran Globel, while graffiti artist Mark Worst is also decorating another of the hoardings in his signature style.

Mark is behind a series of murals across the town including a Kingfisher at Johnston Street and one of iconic music stars on the side of Paisley rock bar The Bungalow

Fellow artist Kevin Cantwell has also created smaller scale artworks on the High Street and at the Little Book Transfer at Gilmour Street Station.

The artists created the works to mark Paisley’s national festival, which runs until Tuesday October 24.

It takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021.

This year features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini at Paisley Abbey on Friday.

Other acts on the bill include James Grant at Paisley Abbey and singer songwriter Dougie MacLean.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “It’s wonderful to attract such big names from the national stage to the Spree Festival  as we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 but it’s also important to give a platform to local artists and creatives too.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info can be found at burgerandkeg.co.uk.

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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International Credit Union (ICU) Day® celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement.

Thursday 19th October 2017 Credit Unions all over the world come together to celebrate the great work that credit unions carry out. Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union (RWCU) established in 2006 by a group of volunteers from different local areas decided to work together, to ensure that everyone who worked or lived in Renfrewshire had access to a credit union.

From their hard work Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union was born. Ten years later Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union is proud to be serving our community to provide access to affordable, ethical financial services, as well as working with local schools to educate our young people on the benefits of saving via the RWCU Cash Cubs program.

RWCU’s General Manager, Karen Wallace, said “Our aim at Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union has always been to promote ethical, affordable financial choices. We believe that our credit union services and products offer the people of Renfrewshire a great value, community-based alternative to the poor deals offered elsewhere.”


A credit union is a ‘mutual’ organisation, this means that it is owned by its members and all the benefits are for members alone, keeping the money in Renfrewshire for the benefit of the people of Renfrewshire. We provide affordable loans at fair rates of interest to meet every day needs, such as replacing a broken washing machine right through to a home extension. We also provide a range of savings plans and other accounts that help members save and manage their money.



With a wide range of products and services why would you not join? Whether you’re saving for a rainy day or looking to access ethical affordable loans then look no further than your local credit union. Being a not-for-profit organisation means it’s about what’s best for YOU, not what makes the most money. This means we are able to offer our members products and services such as –


Savings Accounts

Ethical affordable loans up to £10,000

Christmas accounts

Payroll Deduction

School Credit unions

Funeral Finance

Online account access


For more information on the products and services available please visit www.rwcu.co.uk for more information.


RWCU is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme established under the Financial services and Markets act 2002. In respect of deposits with a UK office, payments under the scheme are limited to 100% of the first £85,000. This may be subject to change please visit www.fscs.org.uk for the latest information.  

RWCU is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) 446350.

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Competition Win Tickets to the Spree Festival Paisley2021 Album launch

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Paisley 2021 album launch in the Spiegeltent on Monday October 23.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the event from Brick Lane Records features 12 great local acts including Linzi Clark and Christy Scott performing their specially written tracks celebrating the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Paisley Album Launch show take place?    

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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The Spree Festival Competition Tickets for The Brewband

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall this Friday.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the performance by the Marc Brew Company aims to challenge people’s perceptions of identity, and is as much of a music gig as it is a dance performance.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Brewband show take place?   

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.



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Frightened Rabbit with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, at Paisley Abbey

Photographs from Frightened Rabbit’s sold out concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Paisley Abbey, part of Paisley’s National Festival, The Spree.